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If You Cannot Discuss The Morality, Then Just Shut Up

Via Donald Luskin comes this article by Alex Epstein at the Ayn Rand Institute.

"Social Security in any form is morally irredeemable."
Now hear this, ladies and gentlemen, and try to get it through your block heads: all the so-called 'debate' about social security is perfectly impertinent, irrelevent, and strictly unconscionable. Everyone you see talking about whether or how to "save social security" -- left to right, top to bottom -- is a straight-up fucking asshole who has no earthly idea what America is, and is therefore instantly disqualified from the discussion.

And I'll point out something that's been on my mind for over a week, now:

This illustrates the misgrappling of Greg Swann. He thinks "The Endarkenment" is something that I say is coming. The fact is that we're in it, and we have been for whole generations. The fact that this discussion about "social security" is even taking place should prove the point to anyone who cannot bring themselves to call George W. Bush "freedom's friend".

More -- in e-mail, McPhillips alerts me to this hopeful palliative for my "heartburn", in which he takes up "the moral question". I wrote in e-mail:

How on earth, Martin, can we possibly drive a stake through the heart of this idea that the government is morally authorized to dictate the terms and conditions of individuals' lives?

Let me tell you something: any ordinary individual on earth should come to me with the proposition, "If you and/or your employer contributes 10 percent of income to a retirement investment of suitable risk, then you can, for an additional 2.5 percent of income, buy into an insurance program that will guarantee that you will be made whole for the current basic social security payout (as normally adjusted)."

That asshole should just step up to me with a proposition like that. He would have about ten seconds to clear the area before I started punching his fucking lights out for the appalling presumption of approaching my private affairs like that.

Now: nothing about the moral outrage at something like that changes because we're talking about the government instead of "any ordinary individual". No individual has the right to enforce something like that on my life (or yours), and it should be bloody obvious (here's that "Endarkenment" thing again) that no right can be "delegated" to a government which is not possessed by individuals to begin with.

No, Martin: no "permissions" or "authorizations" or any of the rest of it from these goddamned commissars, and that includes the second-termer that everyone's jabbering about.

They should stay out of my life because it's mine.


And, yes; it can be pointed out (as it has been, often) that "the reality" of the day is that they already have their grubby mitts all over my life as it is, now, and that, therefore, I'm a "utopian". All I have to say is that if demanding the right to freedom -- in the word spoken yesterday twenty-seven times -- is utopian, then we're all at least as fucked as I keep saying we are.

I'm not impressed, Martin. I'm not going to lie to you. You know I think too much of you for that.

Last Round --

> But in reality the "obligations" we speak
> of are, despite being unethically incurred,
> still owed in good faith to those who
> have lived their lives paying into the till
> and anticipating that they will get their
> due benefits.

Somewhere around here, I have a book published about 1937, by one of the policy "wonks" (he didn't know that's what he was, back then) who engineered this fucking disaster. I don't recall his name right now and I'm not going to go look. I do recall, however, just seething when I read his pious horseshit in that book. I swear it, Martin: if I could go back in a time machine, I would strangle that rotten bastard without compunction right in the middle of Sunday dinner with what was doubtless his American sweetheart Norman Rockwell family. Just fucking kill him.

You are aware that you and I are not going to live to see the end of this, right? It's pretty easy for me to sit here and say that there are nearly unlimited possibilities for human misery in this thing. Hannah Arendt once pointed out that it is a clever rhetorical tactic to remove consequences to a future where any given argument cannot be proved. What I'm saying is open to that dismissal. However, causation is still a very real metaphysical phenomenon (last I checked), and, however bad it gets between now and the day I die, I will die certain that the worst is yet to come.

> All I've really said is that all that should
> be bought out,...

I know. Look: where is that money going to come from?

No matter how you break it out, there are people living today whose lives were committed to this thing whole generations before they were born by imperious shitbags who simply had no right to do that.

This cannot be made more simple than that.

I am talking about an outrage so enormous that most people don't even see it when they're looking right at it.

Jan 21, 05 | 7:35 pm


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