Karl Marx summed up Communism as âfrom each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.â This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.
For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called âThe State,â and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read âThe State will takeÂ from each according to his ability:Â the State will giveÂ to each according to his needs.â âNeeds and abilitiesâ are, of course, subjective. So theÂ operativeÂ statement may be reduced to âthe State shall take, the State shall give.â
All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.
Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the GovernmentÂ shall determineÂ the individualâs abilities.
As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individualâs abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.
President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the âneedsâ of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he âneeds.â
But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining âneedsâ? And note that the president did not say âI have more money than I need,â but âYou and I have more than we need.â Who elected him to speak for another citizen?
It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. âOne-size-fits-all,â and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is âslavery.â
The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians. They were an assortment of businessmen, writers, teachers, planters; men, in short, who knew something of the world, which is to say, of Human Nature. Their struggle to draft a set of rules acceptable to each other was based on the assumption that we human beings, in the mass, are no damned goodâthat we are biddable, easily confused, and that we may easily be motivated by a Politician, which is to say, a huckster, mounting a soapbox and inflaming our passions.
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