Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Psychology of Right and Left

A very interesting article today at the American Thinker answers the question Why Liberals are Selfish. Kyle Becker makes the argument that coercive redistribution of wealth is not just theft, which it is, but is enslavement by the takers in society of the producers.
The left therefore seems to assume that the life, labor, and property of any individual are the possession of "society." This is a tribal, mystical, and frankly demeaning notion that is anything but concordant with civilized peoples.
If a person is born into the world and has the potential of leading his own life, which culminates in that person's death and no other's, then it is logical and moral to look at that living being as a totality.
In reality, a human being is not a cog in a machine, or a blob of protoplasm in a swamp of humanity, or whatever analogy reflects a part of a whole being subordinate to the whole. He is a sentient being, alive within the cosmos, and should be afforded every opportunity to direct his own inseverable experience, so long as he does not impinge on others' right to do so.
The above statements are some of the best I've encountered when discussing the difference between the Left and Right.  The differences in thinking presented as stark, for the sake of making them clear.  But in truth, they are more subtle than that, which has caused many to make the error of thinking they are the same.  Jefferson made that error at first, but realized his mistake.

The Left sees an individual man as weak, and therefore unable to accomplish anything of value absent a leader to lead him like a sheep to pasture.  Typically, Leftists believe themselves to be self actuating elite individuals who can lead others.  Indeed, it is a self congratulating act of noblesse oblige to take on these burdens. The Right does see our essential weakness as individuals, but recognizes that each has the spark of self actualization in him. This makes each individual a powerful (not omnipotent) person in his own right, if he chooses to be. He can pick and choose for himself among the choices available, and even has the ability to increase those choices.  Thus he does not need a leader, as each man is capable of leading himself.  In the Leftist view, the pie must be cut, and the issue is how much is each person's fair share.  In the view of the Right, we should just bake another pie.

But there is another very important thing going on here.  In the view of the Right, when something is taken from someone who has owns it, whether he has himself worked for it, or it has been voluntarily given to him, that is theft.  It doesn't matter that the whole society voted, and decided that your stuff was to be taken, it is still theft.  The rationales used for taking the stuff, be it because you can afford it, or because you belong to a disfavored group, does not matter.  It is still theft.  Moreover, by setting up a system of redistribution of these stolen goods, you are enslaving one person to support the needs of another.

By this reasoning, taxing millionaires and billionaires at a higher rate than other citizens is theft, and discriminatory.  Legitimate taxes should be borne equally by all, for the support of all.  The rich have no extra burden because they are rich.  Indeed, if money is rightly seen as a debt that society owes to those who have accumulated it, then we can get back to a realistic way of looking at taxes.  Similarly, for the Government to declare land areas as habitats for endangered species without paying for that land is again theft.

Elizabeth Warren was wrong on all counts when she used the building of the roads as a way to say that everyone contributed to the plant owners success, and thus he "owed" them the extra taxes.  Yes, the roads were built by the taxpayers of Massachusetts.  But, an individual decided to open a plant there.  That idea did not come out of the ether, and everyone did not have a hand in it.  That individual paid his share of the roads too.  He paid to have a contractor build a plant, he paid to have people working in his plant, he paid taxes along the way both property taxes and on the people working there.  If the product that the plant produced had failed to sell, would Elizabeth Warren be in favor of returning to that individual the taxes paid for the operation of that plant.  No?  I thought not.

Update:  Rachel Marsden has a great article up at entitled The Have Littles and the Have Nots. The article reinforces the point that it is individualism to leads to properity.


  1. I think another big difference between how the left and the right views individuals is that to the left, except of course for the elitist few that are fit to rule, ALL individuals are basically worthless, except as minions to be ruled.
    The right, on the other hand, views individuals as just that; individual human beings. Some are born leaders, and some are born slackers, but they are all individuals, and are treated as such, rather than lumping them all into the same class of 'sheep'.
    Did that make any sense?

  2. drjim,

    Yes, you made perfect sense. In fact, in re-reading, I think I tried to pack too much into one post, and confused the issue. The point being made is that we are individuals, created in the image of God, to be free.

    Best wishes,