Victims of the virtuous


Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation?
* originally posted August 11. Good time for a reminder…

I don’t. Do you know the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? These are people of the mind. They have given their blood, their sweat and their tears for their knowledge. Now, the virtuous come along and lay claim to it. “Man’s sins are destroying the world!” “Human nature will not produce the virtues we demand!” The virtuous sacrifice justice to mercy. The virtuous sacrifice independence to unity. The virtuous confuse partisanship with patriotism. The virtuous sacrifice reason to the faith that “this will work”.

The discussion of Universal Health Care today is besotted with tag-lines, quips, quotes, and worthless hyperbole. Most of them centered around the utopian fantasy that if government can just “tweak this”, “regulate that”, then there would magically be enough to go around. Those who provide that which you seek to take, and make criminals out of the victims, may find those victims have no use for the system. What then? What brains are they going to use to perform those operations? Who are they going to teach? Pliable, manipulative, dullards? Is that someone’s operating table you wish to lie on? I don’t. Ambitious, overachieving individuals who seek the most compensation for their efforts, those are the people with the best success records. Those are the people I want operating on me, and the very people the virtuous demonize as “greedy” or “selfish”.

“Health Care is a right!”

An economic system, ANY economic system, is a system for rationing goods and services that are inadequate to supply all that people want. Currently, we have a large percentage of the population attacking the economic system in toto. The inherent constraints, the limitations of what is available to any one individual at any given time, mean societies create artificial schemes for administering these scarcities. Yet now we are confronted with a philosophy which insists that scarcities can be eliminated by abolishing the very system that provides the bounty they propose to be so virtuous as to be the only ones who can divide it properly.

What each person gets he gets from others who give to him in exchange for something. A right to health care means you have a right to enslave someone else to provide it to you. There is no other way to define it. You have a “right” to request that someone give you something, whether you can pay for it or not. In all the discussions that are preceding the enslavement of medicine, everything is being discussed but the desires of the doctors. That doctors should have any right, desire, or choice is irrelevant selfishness. When it comes to providing rights, yours is not to choose but to serve. What other job would we trust results to someone working under compulsion? Would we trust them to build anything? Would we trust them to make anything we eat? So what is it these people expect to depend on when they lie on the operating table?

But these questions don’t occur to the virtuous. That’s because they don’t understand the principle of trade-offs. To them, there are no such things. They can have their cake and it eat it too. They can create government entities to interfere and still have market competition. They would never think to ask “After optimum competition is reached, what government entity will not continue to pursue the socialization of medicine, just to stay in operation?” This point is important. They recognize nongovernmental activities as self-interested, but governmental activity is de-facto proof of an objective social need. This failure of understanding produces a never ending pattern of failure, and failed prophets like Paul Ehrlich. It is a very distinct pattern.

The Crisis

The virtuous tell you that negative aspects exist which will be eliminated.  Even though all human situations have negative aspects.

The Solution

Next come policies to end the crisis. Critics say the results will be detrimental. They are dismissed as simplistic, fear-mongering, or ignorant.

The Results

The policies are instituted and lead to “detrimental results”.

The Response

Finally, with the lack of positive results comes “the Response”. This is where those who advocated these policies say the burden of proof is on critics to prove that the policies alone were the only possible cause of things getting worse. One can list “The War on Poverty”, “Sex Education”,  and “Criminal Justice” among their more spectacular failures.  

If this ObamaCare is passed, inevitably, this pattern will be repeated. The solution has been proposed, and when the results are a failure, they will be described as “saving us from worse” or “the failure of the market to accept competition”. Eventually, we will all be “forced” to have government health insurance. Force is the opposite of freedom, ladies and gentlemen. To think is an act of individual choice, an act the virtuous so clearly dread. If those among the virtuous still believe in choice and freedom, yet still cling to the belief that you can do good amidst the coming chaos, check your premises.

To those who love life…

You are a life loving human being, and you give them every benefit of the doubt, convinced they love life as much as you. You may refuse to condemn them without understanding, believing they love life as much as you, but they do not. Do not sacrifice your intellect and your work to those who are too cowardly or ignorant or lazy to not only provide for themselves but provide for the wealth and lifestyle of those around them as you do. Do not accept the crown of criminal while your freedom is stolen.

My motto still stands: “I swear-by my life and my love of it-that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

About John Galt