ISSUES IN FOCUS
Week of March 1, 1999
IN MY DREAMS
Most individuals wish to keep private an act that would prove to be embarrassing if that act were made public. Statism brings us a strange reversal of this general rule: individuals engage in acts, in public, that would be too embarrassing for them to commit in private, to your face.
With statism, some individuals feel free to engage in activities they would never dream of committing as a private individual. They issue demands upon others that they would never have the nerve to issue in a face-to-face meeting with their neighbor. Not even with a stranger would they serve forth such demands. But under the cover of public glare, there is no end to the demands pouring out of the mouths of would-be and actual parasites.
As part of the so-called public, these individuals feel free to claim, in effect, that your life is not your own, that your money is not your money and that you have a moral obligation to support them.
How many do you know who would have to gall to knock on your door and personally demand a certain percentage of your annual income? How many would declare that you are responsible for supporting him and his children? How many would personally, to your face, assert that you are responsible for feeding, housing and educating their children? How many would personally tell you that you are responsible for taking care of him in his old age and paying for his medical bills?
I’ll wager you don’t know a single individual who would have the nerve to make such claims to your face, yet millions make these declarations in public and in the voting booth—which means: they are proclaiming your life and money are not yours.
Conversely, and in a darkly foreboding irony, statism’s success to date has been compounded by the unwillingness of its victims—the producers—to declare in public what they only say in private. Privately, a significant number of individuals who stand on their own two feet think that their life and money are theirs and others do not have a right to either. Yet in public they refuse to say what they say in private.
So, here we have the ultimate inversion. Statists will not state to your face what they say in public. The victims will not state in public what they think in private—and in doing so, they unwittingly aid statists who seek to continue to loot their bank accounts.
I do not know Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, nor do I know anyone who works at Microsoft. So, this is only a guess, but my guess is that Bill Gates, and many others at Microsoft, think that the current assault against them, via anti-trust laws, is unjust and nothing more than an attempt by their competitors to gain by government force what they could not gain by free competition. Yet they do not say this. They keep such thoughts to themselves; they keep them private.
In my dreams, I would hope that Bill Gates would say in public what I imagine he thinks in private. I would hope that he would stand up and declare that Microsoft is his property and that of his stockholders, that he has built his empire by persuading others that his products are the best, that he has forced no one to buy his products and no one has the right to forcibly interfere with his business. I would hope he would announce that he is filing suit to challenge the constitutionality of anti-trust laws, that such laws are immoral and a violation, among other things, of individual property rights. Yet we hear nothing of the sort.
In my dreams, I would like to hear Bill Gates say he did everything he honestly could to beat his competitors, even if it put them out of business. I would like to hear him say, in public, that his life and money are his. I would like to hear him say no one has a right to a single penny of his or a single second of his life. I would like to hear him say that his statist opponents have a government gun in their hands, while he is disarmed.
If my dreams ever became a reality, he would send statists scurrying for cover. They could never openly maintain that your life and money are not yours. They can never win if this is explicitly made the issue.
To defeat statists, you have to make the meaning of their ideas real, you have to take their demands personally, you must make them attempt to defend their basic premise: that your life and money are not yours. You will never successfully defend your right to your life, money and property if you do not make those rights the issue. If you make them the issue, then statists will lose.
March 1, 1999
© Copyright 1999 Fulton Huxtable