In an article at Townhall.com Mr. Sowell points out the great fallacy in the thinking of all the big government collectivists- they call themselves “progressives”, I call them “Stalinists”- that somehow governments can better figure out how we should run our lives than we can.
John Stuart Mill’s classic essay “On Liberty” gives reasons why some people should not be taking over other people’s decisions about their own lives. But Professor Cass Sunstein of Harvard has given reasons to the contrary. He cites research showing “that people make a lot of mistakes, and that those mistakes can prove extremely damaging.”
Professor Sunstein is undoubtedly correct that “people make a lot of mistakes.” Most of us can look back over our own lives and see many mistakes, including some that were very damaging. (Boy, can I! – ed.)
What Cass Sunstein does not tell us is what sort of creatures, other than people, are going to override our mistaken decisions for us. That is the key flaw in the theory and agenda of the left.
Implicit in the wide range of efforts on the left to get government to take over more of our decisions for us is the assumption that there is some superior class of people who are either wiser or nobler than the rest of us.
Yes, we all make mistakes. But do governments not make bigger and more catastrophic mistakes?
And that superior sort of folks will never, ever leave us be. See the Lewis quote at the top of the blog.
He then provides a list of great moments in government- World War One, the Holocaust, the Great Depression… I’m sure if you think a moment you can come up with numerous other examples, both micro and macro.
Too many among today’s intellectual elite see themselves as our shepherds and us as their sheep. Tragically, too many of us are apparently willing to be sheep, in exchange for being taken care of, being relieved of the burdens of adult responsibility and being supplied with “free” stuff paid for by others.
Problem is, the ‘others’ are getting restive and resentful. In response, our government has purchased billions of rounds of ammunition and 2700 MRAP’s for the DHS. Am I the only one who finds that a wee bit frightening? When the hammer comes down, I will not be on my knees. How many of you can honestly say the same?
How many of you are sheep?
Thanks to Samizdata for the pointer.