It All Started With Rousseau
‘The General Will is always righteous.’ Moreover, provided the State is ‘well-intentioned’…interpretation of the General Will can safely be left to the leaders since ‘they know well that the General Will always favors the decision most conducive to public interest.’ Hence any individual who finds himself in opposition to the General Will is in error: ‘When the opinion that is contrary to my own prevails, this simply proves that I was mistaken and that what I thought to be the General Will, was not so.’ Indeed, ‘if my particular opinion had carried that day I should have achieved the opposite of what was my will and I should not therefore have been free.’
From Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals, i.e. that class of people who find the sort of reasoning encapsulated in Rosseau’s quotation persuasive.
Incidentally, it was not too long after Rousseau’s theories were put into action that the body count began resembling the score of a pinball game. No doubt those who were so assiduous in the use of the guillotine were led to do so because they were “inflamed” by angry rhetoric from conservatives in England.
New York Times Attacks!
By now all know that the left, chronicled by the Gray-as-dust Lady, immediately proved, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that right-wing hate was responsible for the Tucson shooting. In the Weekly Standard, PJ O’Rourke writes (HT HotAir):
In the matter of self-serving, bitter, calculated cynicism, there wouldn’t seem to be much left to prove against the Times. Judging by what I’ve heard from my fellow conservatives, the issue is decided. The New York Times is a worthless, truthless, vicious institution. But I disagree. I think things are worse than that.
For leftest intellectuals characterized by those who write for the New York Time, there are only two reasons anybody would ever disagree with whatever view (du jour) they hold: stupidity or hate.
As an example of “stupidity”, in a debate with Motor City (as was) Madman Uncle Ted Nugent, actress Roseanne Barr accuses Tea Party members of being dupes of rich, evil—only one modifier is actually necessary—capitalists. By implication—and assumption—the ignorant rank and file are incapable of independent reasoning: they never would have come to the belief that unchecked growth of government will lead to tyranny had they not been coached. This alone is proof that the People (Rousseau’s General Will) need guidance from On High. A world led by Roseanne Barr must be superior than one helmed by, say, Ronald Reagan.
Yet somehow Barr forgot the wealth of George Soros, of Hollywood, of the myriad companies which begged for bailouts and subsequently awarded their employees six-figure bonuses, of herself. Well, after all, money isn’t the root of all evil.
But the love of it is. Those who have and seek it and who disagree with the catechism can only therefore filled with hate, even to the point where they are driven insane. Don’t like abortion? Then you must hate the poor. Against racial quotas? Then you must be a vile racist. The same is true if you disagree with anything President Obama says or does. Nervous about the FCC’s takeover of the internet? Then you must hate…well, something; probably whichever victim group hasn’t had enough press at the time your incoherent ravings about the FCC become known.
Opposed to Big Government (of which the New York Times feels itself a member)? Then you hate the People. You are in error and, as Rousseau has taught us, are against freedom itself. And that cannot be tolerated. Therefore, for you no punishment is severe enough. You will face protest marches, you will receive death threats, you will see yourself burned in effigy. None of these actions are motivated by hate, but are brought about by the same kind of well-meaning, kind-hearted wrath which drives a parent to beat his child with a switch.
Take your punishment like a man and learn to think properly.
Wodehouse Weighs In
As with many things, PG Wodehouse provides the answer: “It occurred to Lord Emsworth, as it has occurred to so many people, that the distribution of money in this world is all wrong” (from Blandings Castle and Elsewhere). This being so, the important thing is to do is very little.