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It was Saturday night. The air was hot and sticky, and my husband was covered with sawdust and sweat after a long day of working in our wood shop. It’s the busy season for our home woodcraft business, and putting in 70-hour work weeks isn’t unusual.
That kind of work schedule is why he became spitting mad at something he heard on the radio. “President Obama made a speech in which he said, ‘If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. … If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen’!”
This is NOT the kind of thing a self-employed man needs to hear after a 14-hour workday.
The gist of the speech, we learned, is that no business owner can take credit for his or her successful enterprise. We must remember the teachers who influenced us; and more importantly, we must give credit to the government that built the roads and bridges and the Internet and other infrastructure that made any success possible.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t know a single business owner who isn’t grateful for the support structure underneath him. We’ve all had people who have positively influenced our business efforts: parents, teachers, friends, mentors, bosses. … But we’ve also had those who have detracted from our business endeavors: tax collectors, bureaucrats, regulators, pencil-pushers and administrators (almost every one of them from the government) whose sole purpose is to make our business accomplishments more complicated, expensive and difficult.
Obama – a man who has never started a business or made payroll or taken entrepreneurial risks – dares to claim that without government infrastructure beneath our feet, we could not achieve success. His attitude is typical of progressives who insist that The Village must be given credit for anyone’s individual accomplishments.
The thrust of Obama’s remarks, as David Limbaugh noted, “was directed at crediting government with having an indispensable role in the success of businesses,” directly related to how much the rich are taxed, “… that capitalism can’t work without extensive government regulations, and that businesses don’t flourish on their own. They can only succeed when jump-started by infusions of government money and wisdom.”
Yes indeedy, our tax dollars, yanked unwillingly out of our bank accounts at the point of an IRS gun, are responsible for the fact that my husband is covered with sawdust and sweat at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night. If I weren’t a lady, this is where I’d drop a nasty four-letter word describing bovine excrement.
When you stop and think about it, the implications of these seemingly random comments are enormous … and menacing. The “Collective” takes all the credit for success. The “individual” amounts to nothing more than a cog in the Collectivist machine.
Does this sound familiar? The nerds among you will recognize the objective of “the Borg” from “Star Trek.” The Borg, for those who have been living under a rock, are “a collection of species that have turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones of the collective hive” (to quote Wikipedia). Their directive is ominous: “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”
In fact, the Wikipedia entry that describes these fictional beings sounds eerily like current progressive government policy.
“[The Borg] operate toward the fulfillment of one purpose: to ‘add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to “their” own’ in pursuit of ‘perfection.’ The concept of perfection is the unifying idea at the core of the Borg. … This is achieved through forced assimilation, a process which takes individuals and technology, enhancing and controlling them.” [Emphasis added.]
Resistance to the Borg, in fact, became a dominant theme in many “Star Trek” episodes.
So why are we so anxious to embrace a version of the Borg right here in America? Resistance is futile, the progressives like to tell us. You will be assimilated.
When our own president dismisses the personal sacrifices and efforts of the men and women who spend decades building small businesses into successful enterprises – just because they didn’t personally build roads and bridges and the Internet– he is suggesting that the Collective is the only thing that’s important. Individuals – and individual initiative – are not.
After all, what is it that progressives yearn for? Utopia. They want to create their own version of perfection right here, where wealth is distributed equally regardless of effort or merit. The Borg also desires to achieve its own definition of perfection. Independence and creativity among individuals is not only discouraged, it’s actively viewed as a threat to the Collective.
That’s how I see the administration’s attitude toward those Americans who yearn for the freedom from tyranny and government interference our Founding Fathers envisioned. Constitutionalists have no desire to assimilate citizens into collectivist thought. They only seek government limitations so individuals can succeed or fail on their own.
But progressives are like the Borg, who view us with suspicion if we resist the Collective. They seize the minds of our children via government schools and shape them toward the service of the Collective. They tax and regulate and burden small-business owners, then refuse to grant them credit for their hard work if they succeed. They insist that The Village is responsible for any success.
I dunno, this strikes me as being just as ominous and eerie as the Borg was meant to be. As Erik Rush pointed out, “Their reasoning is clear, though patently immoral: If business owners owe their success to others, then it ostensibly justifies confiscating their wealth.”
Even David Chavern, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in response to Obama’s speech, “Success is apparently a collective effort – but where was that ‘collective’ during the periods of risk-taking and failure? The vast majority of businesses fail. … Every day millions of people put their lives, savings, houses and families on the line and work 20 hours a day just to grab their small slice of the American dream. Where is the collective when all of this is going on? And if the collective is really responsible for success, how come everyone isn’t successful?”
Let’s face it – there are certain individuals who have the drive and interest to start their own business. These are the people who worked harder, studied more, took more risks and didn’t look for handouts. No one ever became successful by folding their hands and doing nothing, no matter how many roads and bridges there are.
Thankfully the Borg … er, the progressives … haven’t yet achieved the “perfection” they seek. This nation is still full of stubborn resistors who assert that their business success is due to their own hard work, capital risks and obstinate determination to thrive.
Progressives refuse to recognize how collectivist nations (China, USSR, etc.) suppress (sometimes forcibly) individual creativity and initiative. These countries are full of worker drones who aren’t permitted to deviate from the rigid standards set by government. You don’t work for yourself – you work for the collective.
Only through freedom from government tyranny and collectivist thought can a nation become vital, inventive and resourceful. America has spent 200 years showing the rest of the world how it’s done.
Thankfully, some of us will never be assimilated. We will always resist. The Borg has not – yet – grown to the point where assimilation is complete.
May this nation live long and prosper.