At FEE.org I found

Dystopias Seen, Dystopias Imagined

JANUARY 23, 2014 by SANDY IKEDA

(Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/dystopias-seen-dystopias-imagined#ixzz2rX81nvjE) worth the while.

It was his crosslink to http://www.franz-oppenheimer.de/state1.htm, that has me writing.

Mr. Oppenheimer says, “There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. Robbery! Forcible appropriation! These words convey to us ideas of crime and the penitentiary, since we are the contemporaries of a developed civilization, specifically based on the inviolability of property. And this tang is not lost when we are convinced that land and sea robbery is the primitive relation of life, just as the warrior’s trade – which also for a long time is only organized mass robbery constitutes the most respected of occupations. Both because of this, and also on account of the need of having, in the further development of this study, terse, clear, sharply opposing terms for these very important contrasts, I propose i. the following discussion to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others, the “economic means” for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.””

We all know that forcefully taking is wrong. (Coercion of any sort, all the same.) Oddly, nearly half of us think it can be justified by labeling it liberalism or progressivism and claiming it for the greater good, as though inflicting pain on a few is justified if the pain of many is lessened, even if that lessening is demeaning and dehumanizing to all.

We complicate things. The simple rule is to do what is right.

When I am wronged, I must first ensure I do not add to wrong. I must consider, first, how to not be part of the problem, and I had better do what I can to elevate the problem, if I can. 

There is a tendency to excuse wrong when it corrects a wrong, and occasionally, such is unavoidable, but consider Robin Hood.

It cannot be argued that he did right. He robbed. He may have given of his take to help those less fortunate, even those from whom the goods were taken in the first place, but people die by the Robin-Hood actions same as by the actions of the wicked sheriff. Two wrongs never make a right. We need to remind ourselves of that when we try to justify.

I mentioned less than half of us will accept rationalization of taking by political means. Study after study, poll after poll, and practical general observation, show that those who think it is justifiable to forcefully take from some to provide for others (the haves versus the have-nots) is a minority. So, why do we do it? Why is it rampant in our society and our politics? Sadly, the majority doesn’t hold up because many who oppose taking, some of those in the majority, end up on the receiving end. Many such will side with the takers in the voting booth.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton SinclairI, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

Advertisements