The Good Tyranny
This is my entry for this weeks reading assignment from Liberal Fascism. I read the intro and the first chapter. However, there was one passage in the introduction that really struck me. Since I read this passage it has been bouncing around in my head. Jonah Goldberg writes:
The history of totalitarianism is the history of the quest to transcend the human condition and create a society where our deepest meaning and destiny are realized simply by virtue of the fact that we live in it. It cannot be done, and even if, as often in the case of liberal fascism, the effort is very careful to be humane and decent, it will still result in a kind of benign tyranny where some people get to impose their ideas of goodness and happiness on those who may not share them.
I wanted to combine this quote with one from other author on our reading list, C. S. Lewis:
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppresive.
This is a point that is lost on many liberals and moderates in today’s world. If the government is better at everything, and we should trust in the government, in the end we are trusting in the people that run the government. While I trust the American public in most cases, I am very nervous about a group of nameless bureaucrats deciding what should and shouldn’t be legal. I am even more nervous about the government deciding when it should protect me from myself. Many Democratic policies come down to believing the government is wiser than I am when making decisions concerning me.
Think about it: the only reason we have a health care debate is because Democrats and liberals think individuals shouldn’t be responsible for themselves. I’m not smart enough to get my own health care, or to decide if I even need health insurance. The government will step in and provide something liberals believe I am too stupid to look for on my own. This is the good tyranny exercised with the most well meaning of intentions that both Jonah Goldberg and C. S. Lewis were warning us about. The good tyranny is the kind we must be the most vigilant for, and it is the kind that scares me the most. An armed tyrant would be overthrown by America, a “benevolent leader” may not even be recognized as a threat until our liberties are gone.