Managing Editor and Star of the Ben Shapiro Show, Ben Shapiro, is one of the top figures in conservatism today. His unabashed, level-headed opinions attract everyone from young students to experienced political figures, and it’s no wonder as to why.
But it’s his appeal to the youth that is the most valuable by far, and that’s why he is consistently welcomed (and in the same vein wholly rejected) by universities.
However, Shapiro was definitely welcomed recently at Liberty University where Shapiro may have given one of the best speeches of his career, and it’s because he put the focus on society in relation to America’s core of Judeo-Christian values, and how the collective culture usually brought forward by the left consistently attempt to undermine them.
After thanking the YAF and opening with a prayer for Alfie Evans, Shapiro launched into something that many would consider a badly needed talk about a badly needed system:
The United States echoed that message from its very inception. George Washington stated in his First Inaugural Address, “Since there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage… the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.”
The very basis of our politics, then, lies in the recognition that rights without virtues lead to chaos, and that virtues without rights lead to tyranny. Only by balancing public rights with private virtues can we truly uphold freedom and pursue happiness.
One half of the equation, though, seems to have gone awry in modern America.
We have been taught that our rights are paramount, which is fine, but we’ve also been taught that we have no duty to be virtuous. In fact, anyone who says that we have a duty to be virtuous is harming you, microaggressing you, ethnocentrically mansplaining to you in cisgender fashion.
Shapiro then highlighted that a virtuous society cannot be brought about by a centralized government, despite the fact that collectivist politicians promise Eden if they’re just put into power.
How can anyone expect us to be virtuous, the argument goes, when the system itself is so deeply flawed? How can we blame people for being immoral when the system is biased in favor of a few white rich men at the top? First we have to fix the system – then human beings themselves will change. Virtue will become natural; we’ll all just magically become wonderful great people. All we have to do to make this magical thing happen is hand over all our freedoms to a centralized government – and that government will then provide us new rights, better that the old God-given ones. Instead of the right to free speech, the government will provide us a right not to be offended; our feelings will be protected.
Instead of a right to life, the government will provide us the right to kill unborn babies. Instead of a right to create and keep the wages of our labor, the government will provide us a nice, comfortable social safety net, without us actually having to do the work.
Then, after all that’s done, human beings will magically become better. We’ll become good, if all this happens.
Shapiro notes that this is the philosophy of collectivism, which promises more than it can possibly give if you would just give up yourself to it:
Collectivist philosophy, however, thinks differently; they expect us to give our individual striving up; no more striving, no more struggle, all we have to do is trade our individual responsibility for the comfort of collective power. Collectivist philosophy points out that individual virtue isn’t natural – it is a struggle. And we can avoid that struggle by handing over all power to a Nanny State. Judeo-Christianity says, “You’re free, and therefore you must give”; collectivist philosophy says, “You are unfree, and thus the state must take on your behalf.”
Shapiro goes on to describe how collectivism goes directly against the nature of humans, and the will of God by putting it up against each of the Ten Commandments in order in what is a very eye-opening comparison.
I highly suggest watching the entire speech for yourself.