Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Obama: "what's true for individuals is also true for nations." He's Right

My recent post at The Objective Standard blog features President Obama telling us how to properly judge government economic policy through the "test" of thinking about how it would play out in one's private life. 

Read my whole post Obama, Goose, and Gander, and then see if you can come up with more ways to apply Obama's "test."

What's interesting is that, when you start applying the test, you will find that in areas where government improperly intervenes in our private lives—such as, in the field of economics and charity—virtually everything the government does would be contrary to proper private behavior. But in areas involving government's proper role of protecting individual rights, almost the opposite is true. In a fully free and civil society, we delegate to government certain functions related to objectively protecting individual rights, but not functions that violate others' rights.

So, for example: Is it ok to rob your neighbor at gunpoint and redistribute his money to yourself or others? No? Then why is it ok for the politicians you elect to do it for you? On the other hand, it would be wrong for us as private individuals to get a gun and seize property in retribution from someone we believe robbed us by force, fraud, or breach of contract, thus violating our rights, but it would be right to leave that task to government as the law enforcement entity.

Or: Do you presume to dictate, at the point of a gun, how your neighbor, who has harmed no one, is to run his life or business? No? Then why is it ok for the politicians you elect to establish regulatory agencies to do just that? On the other hand, it would be wrong for you as a private individual to grab some individual who has harmed you in some way and force him into involuntary servitude as punishment, even though he violated your rights. But it would be right for government to act as arresting agent, prosecutor, judge, and jury, and lock up criminals in jails and prescribe his daily routine.

In its rights-protecting mode, the government properly holds a monopoly on the retaliatory use of force against those who initiate force. So, in the area of retaliatory force, what's true for government is not true for individuals. But in the area of initiatory force, "what's true for individuals is also true for nations." 

Obama's has unwittingly given us a great litmus test for separating proper from improper government policies. Let's call this "Obama' Litmus Test". What would happen to his precious regulatory welfare state if American's consistently applied "Obama' Litmus Test"?

Related Reading:

Man's Rights—Ayn Rand

The Nature of Government—Ayn Rand

My TOS Blog Archive

No comments: