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November 12, 2009

Pelosi: It's Very Fair That We Jail You If You Don't Buy Health Insurance

Seen on Hot Air, Infidels are Cool has this exchange:

Stone: Do you think itís fair to send people to jail who donít buy health insurance?

Pelosi: Ö The legislation is very fair in this respect.

The left continues pounding the table, insisting that right-wingers are "paranoid" and "extremist" to call Obama a socialist, or to use totalitarian imagery in posters to protest his agenda. Why, it's just so not true! they bleat. You'd have to be a maniac like Sarah Palin to make these delusional claims! Why, it's like bad science-fiction!

Really?

Socialism never attends a party without an escort of coercive state behavior. It is a historic fact -- indeed, an economic fact -- that as the state seeks to regulate and control more and more economic activity, they must, of course, control more and more human activity.

Economic activity is human activity, after all. Economics is not somehow divorced from humanity. Economic choices are not made of their own volition, passive-voice, without an actor. People make economic choices -- and socialism demands an ever-increasing control over those choices, and therefore the people who make those choices. (Or, more accurately: formerly made those choices.)

Furthermore, apart from the basic definitional aspect of socialism that requires a loss of freedom in exchange, supposedly, for economic security: Socialism has almost never worked as intended, but rather creates new problems and new poverties and new ways to exploit the system (black markets, for one); socialism therefore always requires even additional laws against once-unobjectionable and perfectly-legal behavior. In other words, not only does socialism require a small buy-in, in the form of loss of freedom, but it is always accompanied by unplanned-for (?) additional losses of freedom to "correct" for all the systematic irrationalities and distortions it creates.

And then it gets even worse after that, because it always fails, whenever it's been attempted, and the newly-empowered state will fight to survive, as any organism does, and any organism is willing to do an awful lot of violence when its very existence is threatened.

Note that the third part of that is the scariest step in the socialist takeover of the human condition, but even if that is avoided, the first and second stages are plenty objectionable in their own right. Although socialism has had a pronounced tendency to lead to full fascism and totalitarian control over the increasingly miserable citizenry it supposedly "serves," and that is the point of all those Nazi posters, it cannot be emphasized firmly enough that even if Stage Three of socialism is avoided, Stages One and Two are anti-freedom and frankly anti-human as well.

Just less so.

On a personal level, I go 'round and 'round with myself as to whether Nazi imagery is "civil" or helpful, politically: On one side I know for a fact that socialism tends in this direction. Every. Single. Time. Even in socialist states where fascism is avoided -- Britain, say -- it is nevertheless the case that the citizenry there exists under a much-diminished concept of "freedom" than your average American would find tolerable, or even imaginable.

On the other hand, I doubt the effectiveness of such imagery, for the simple fact that few can imagine such things, they seem too speculative and too impossible to contemplate, and so I usually make the case that rather than talk up the farther-off (yet still quite possible, and not quite so far off as some would like to imagine) possibility of Stage Three socialism, we should talk up instead the quite-objectionable-enough and much more immediate and imaginable defects of Stages One and Two.

Back to this leftist insistence that we're all paranoid to even think this way, to even define "freedom" in an antique, right-wing fashion, meaning "stuff you are permitted to do or not do without penalty and coercion from the state:" It is especially risible to me, in gallows-humor way, that the left continues to call us lunatics for fretting about increasing state control and increasing state coercion and increasing state outlawing of previously-legal behavior and freedoms even as, in their very first bill out of the socialist box, they propose jailing Americans for engaging in unobjectionable behavior which no one ever before dreamt of being a crime.

Think about this.

The left says: You are crazy to claim your so-called freedoms are being taken away, and you are a lunatic to scream about an overly powerful state which will use violent coercion (no one goes to jail without the threat of violence if he doesn't, after all) to enforce its notions of the "economic good."

And with the next breath the left says: By the way, you shall either buy health care insurance or we will throw you in prison for two or three years.

I'm paranoid? Really? I am not fretting here about some remote and unlikely possibility. We are not speaking here of "slippery slopes" or in terms of "what comes next?"

We are instead objecting to a black-letter law spelled out for all to see in the very first piece of legislation you're proposing.

Right out of the box. The state here -- Pelosi, Reid, Obama -- are claiming that they can imprison people for behavior that has never before even been hinted as being a crime, on the theory that such behavior constitutes unpatriotic economic behavior which is detrimental to the state's balance sheets.

Think about what a broad, all-encompassing term "economics" is. 80% of our waking hours are spent in economic activity of one sort or another. The state here is asserting the right to imprison people for behavior they consider not actually morally reprehensible or harmful as other crimes are, but instead merely detrimental to the Great Push Forward, the state's master plan of economic health and well-being.

Right out of the box they propose sending people to jail for acting as economic subversives and economic traitors and yet I am, somehow, paranoid if I point out that the first step here is to reduce human freedom and increase state power.

And this is just a down-payment, remember. This is merely the first of many freedoms you previously believed sacrosanct to be lost. This is merely the first freedom they've realized, in advance, will have to be taken away. When their Rube Goldberg system of cross-subsidizations and stealth-rationing produces a slew of irrationalities and evasions they did not anticipate, we will have a welter of new crimes to correct all that human behavior they now find constitutes bad economic hygiene and must be outlawed.

But we're paranoid. We're lunatics. We're "extreme."

Used to be in this county when we proposed making an entire category of human behavior a crime, that was cause for debate. Civil libertarians on the left would join those on the right in wondering what has so changed in the past several years to require an entire new category of criminality, an entire sphere of human activity now removed from the column of "freedom" and moved to the column of "forbiddance."

But not this time. Fascism, as they say, tends to come with a smiling face, and there's hardly a face more surgically stretched into smiles than Nancy Pelosi's, quite chipper and blithe as she proposes that she will begin filling America's prisons with a whole new category of criminal, the economic saboteur.

And there is no argument about it, and no debate. We are creating an entirely new type of "crime" that could end up imprisoning millions (or -- very nearly as bad -- compelling behavior and restricting freedom due to threat of incarceration) and the entire left and the entire media (but I repeat myself) blows it off as no big deal.

It's just What Must Be Done. Omlette, eggs, some breaking required.

But I'm a paranoid and extremist to take notice of the fact that what was once my freedom in 2009 shall become a cause for imprisonment in 2010.


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posted by Ace at 02:08 PM

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