“The People”: Two Favorite Statist Words
Stossel did an episode called “What’s Up with Detroit?” not too long ago. At one point he brought up the opportunities Detroit had to bring in income by selling, for example, Belle Island, or some of the numerous expensive paintings in Detroit’s museum. Belle Island alone would bring in 2 billion dollars. What I found odd- along with the host- was the uniform response of the citizens of Detroit to such propositions. “These are the people’s paintings,” they bellowed. “This island- this park- belongs to the people,” they stoutly reiterated. The citizens of Detroit can’t get the police to respond in less than four hours but, by God, they will keep their paintings and their parks, which are filled with trash and needles that the people can’t seem to get around to cleaning up.
It sounds so honorable, so right. The People. But who are these “people?” Aren’t the individuals who want to buy and live on Belle Island also “people?” What about the persons who would pay millions of dollars for a Van Gogh? Are they not “people?”
You see, “The People” refers only to those who aren’t rich, those who don’t have the resources to buy a nice painting, one they can look at and be inspired while still in their underwear. “The People” refers to those who don’t have their own swimming pools. Those who don’t have as much crap as they wish will always be jealous of and antagonistic to those who do. As a result they will tell themselves and their friends that all rich people- or people who aren’t poor- are so because they exploited someone and because they cheated on their taxes. Then they will cling to and coerce the long arm of the State to “rectify” things, “to bring justice.” (Justice is another nice-sounding word normally implemented for effect for so not well-intended agendas.)
Does exploitation exist? Sure. Do rich corporations lobby politicians and get special favors? I have little doubt that is the case. Are there rich people who cheat on their taxes? Duh!
C.S. Lewis, when talking about pride, mentioned how the devil likes to help you cure one smaller fault by giving you a tremendous one. Thanks to the crooks who have exploited and twisted free-market capitalism, a cancer has grown in the body of this Republic known as Progressivism. Progressives takes the grievances of people like those in Detroit and manipulate them into uniting against whoever is is these Progressives are going after. Progressives take advantage of the flubs by those espousing capitalism by always suggesting more regulations as an answer, which of course, is usually blatant coercion. They also manipulate the downcast, frustrated and easily-persuaded in order to push forth their agenda: MORE GOVERNMENT. ” Here’s how you can kill the few roaches in your house,” they say.”Spray poison in your entire house… then go ahead and sleep in it.”
The people who usually fall for the progressive agenda are very poorly versed in history, the big picture of history, that is. The big picture of history is simply that large governments have always been tyrannical and, eventually, broke. The big picture is that innovation and creation has been the result of individuals having the freedom and incentive to create something which rewarded the self and able to be used by the masses. The founders of the United States knew this. That’s why they created a Republic they hoped would never arrive where it has.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. People’s Republic of China. When Lenin led the communist revolution he would use the words “the people” precisely three bajillion times. These three regimes are responsible for the premature deaths of hundreds of millions of people just in the past century alone. There is nothing “people” about poverty and death, or about North Korea, China, or Soviet Russia. There is nothing people about what is going on in Detroit.
Only individualism- personal responsibility- brings about better living conditions and success for everyone.
The buzz word people is a load of crap used by statists to trick the less savvy. It means nothing close to what people who don’t read think it does. You cannot have a healthy “people” by demonizing individuals. The People IS individuals.
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