In Thomas Hobbes’ “Social Contract” we are instructed that people in a “state of nature” without the symbiotic restraints of government are doomed to lead lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” What has the growing dependence upon government provided that promises a better fate?
UPDATE 2/25/22: What if most Americans were informed that our oil resources are greater than all the Middle East? They would also have to be disabused of the lies about our use of fossil fuels posing an “existential crisis.” Then, perhaps they could go on, unimpeded, driving their cars, heating & cooling their houses, cooking on their stoves, flying off happily to vacation spots and generally enjoying guilt-free, wonderful lives.
UPDATE 6/3/21: For those interested in real benefits for people like employment, working, earning a living (which automatically eliminates the Left half of the political leadership spectrum), let it be known that red states relaxing regulations and lowering taxes post-Covid are roaring back while the Blue states eager for an electoral majority of permanent welfare queens can only boast of stagnation and record high unemployment. Hardly surprising as the current regime is determined to eliminate the working middle class by providing permanent unemployment benefits that wipe out any incentive to get a job.
Meanwhile, the crafty Narrative crafters are busy blaming bad employment/job numbers on…who else?…Republicans!
ORIGINAL POST 7/3/12: A comment on viral, toxic Dependency on the day before Independence Day: It’s one thing to destroy robust American industries like auto production or healthcare through excessive taxation and bureaucratic strangulation. It’s another, more destructive, cataclysmic thing to destroy the essential American trait of self-reliance. Without the epidemic virus of entitlement dependency, scheming utopian lies like ObamaCare or the latest invasive “Green” act would die quick deaths of neglect.
Read and listen to psychologist Keith Ablow at Fox News.
21 Replies to “ObamaCare and the politics of dependency”
Excellent post on government-driven dependency. The dependency described by Dr Ablow calls to mind a passage from Ortega y Gasset in his classic 1930 “Revolt of the Masses”:
“This is the greatest danger that today threatens civilization: State intervention; the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the State; that is to say absorption of spontaneous historical action which in the long run sustains, nourishes and impels human destiny. When the mass suffers any ill-fortune or simply feels some strong appetite, its great temptation is that permanent, sure possibility of obtaining everything—without effort, struggle, doubt, or risk—merely by touching a button and setting the mighty machine (of the state) in motion… The result of this tendency will be fatal. Spontaneous social action will be broken up over and over again by state intervention. No new seed will be able to fructify…The whole of life is bureaucratized. What results? The bureaucratization of life brings about its absolute decay in all orders. Wealth diminishes, births are fewer. Then the state, in order to attend to its own needs, forces on still more bureaucratization of human existence… The state gets the upper hand and society has to begin to live for the state…”
One example of such dependency shows up in the difference between entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. and that in the social democracies of Europe. Namely, US companies that were founded in the last forty years dominate the list of major Western technology companies to the near exclusion of European companies. The US companies include major players in each tech sector:
SEMICONDUCTORS (Intel, Micron, TI, National, Cypress, Nvidia, Qualcomm…)
SOFTWARE (Microsoft, Oracle, Electronic Arts, Adobe, McAfee, Pixar, …)
COMPUTERS (Apple, Dell, Gateway, Compaq, Garmin…)
NETWORKING (Cisco, EMC, Seagate, Ciena, Brocade, Juniper…)
INTERNET (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, Akamai, Expedia, eBay, eTrade…)
BIOTECH (Amgen, Genentech, Millennium, Genzyme, Biogen…)
By contrast, the only major European technology company that was founded in the last forty years is SAP and it, interestingly, was a spin out from IBM Europe.
Certainly, the Europeans are no slouches when it comes to technology, with many old line companies like Siemens and Philips being world players. So it is something beside talent or education that is at play here. In spite of decades of US example and European efforts at venture capitalism, the Europeans have shown little inclination. I can’t help but attribute this fact to the dominant presence of government in European society. This played out explicitly in the 1950’s when Britain’s high tax rates led to the “brain drain” of those scientists and engineers with sufficient initiative to the US.
Between a reward system stunted by taxation and what Ortega y Gasset called “the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the State”, economic and social initiative become steadily more foreign to dependent populations. So progresses both further dependency on government and the demise of freedom.
Businesses, buildings, even broken lives can be rebuilt to some extent, but human character is almost irreversible; and the greatest destruction we’re witnessing is the corruption of the American character. This free, rich, incomparably productive land was created by millions of individuals, each a responsible master of his own destiny. Under the emerging socialism pushed by the Left, those millions of resourceful individuals are disappearing, replaced by a helpless mob of parasites. To see it in practice, look no further than the Occu-Pods.