"Necessity," said William Pitt, "is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." There is no call for control of your life by government, no demand for you to relinquish your civil rights made from behind the barrels of guns held by jackbooted government thugs, that does not begin as an appeal to the necessary. It is through pleas to supposed necessity that liberals, "progressives" and leftists of every stripe advance their desires to manage every facet of your waking life. It is through arguments built on alleged necessity that statists justify and rationalize every attempt to force you to toe their ideological line from the cradle to the grave.
To those on the left side of the political aisle, modern technology is a gold mine of these mandates of the necessary. When they are not touting the benefits of invasive technologies that enable them to monitor, manipulate and mind the citizens of an increasingly less free nation – the proliferation of surveillance cameras, advanced security scanning and screening devices, RFID tags in our identifications, passports and credit cards, and government oversight of social-networking sites to identify and root out antigovernment heresy are just a few such examples – they are telling us that technology is evil. The engines of industry, they tell us, must be shut down, lest the pollution generated by our prosperity chokes us all to death on its fumes. Your neighbors should be pawing through your trash, prepared to report you for violating recycling guidelines. The car you drive is too big and comfortable; you should be forced, by government restrictions and punitive taxes, to buy a smaller one. Why, you shouldn't even be allowed to send a text message because, frankly, text messaging is popular, and any technology that is popular must be bad.
The excuse used in each and every case of government meddling – in industry, in business and especially in your individual life as an American citizen, most if not all of these dictates far overreaching the powers granted the government by the Constitution – is necessity. Why, if we do not pass this law, people might be hurt or killed. If we don't "rein in" this dangerous technology, the environment will be damaged. If we don't stop this dangerous, popular trend by banning this or regulating that, dire portents will become bad omens that will evolve into doom and destruction, or something. Hurry, do something! Do it now! And by "something," we mean pass a law that takes away your natural rights as a free citizen of a sovereign nation.
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What would it look like if the federal behemoth were severely cut down to size? Read Wayne Allyn Root's prescription for the nation in "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts"
Statists love bureaucratic fiat. They adore the arbitrary, unchecked use of government power for the achievement of communitarian ends. The individual is subordinate to the state in the minds of such "progressives." The "common good" is far more important than paltry, outdated notions such as individual rights in the thinking of such leftists. No better example of would-be tyranny, callous disregard for civil rights, naked fear-mongering, heavy-handed appeal to necessity and of course hypocrisy could be found than last week's column by Diane Francis, "The Real Inconvenient Truth."
In this disturbing column, Francis – editor at large of the National Post, who is, unsurprisingly, also a contributor to the Huffington Post – demands the implementation of Communist China's one-child policy. Mother Earth, you see, is dying, and only by controlling the population teeming on the planet's increasingly overcrowded continents can we save her. This must be done, Francis hectors us, through the exercise of totalitarian government power. She dismisses the recent talk of "climate change" (for, in light of recent scandals involving the junk science of "global warming," arguments pinned solely on the impending doom of climate change are destined to fail) and says simply, "A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently. ... The world's other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity's soaring reproduction rate." Francis goes on to say that China, "despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation," while praising Communist China's growing middle class and the fact that "all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food."
Yet China's forced one-child policy isn't saving the environment, as Francis believes it is. China holds perhaps the worst environmental record of any industrialized nation in the world. Sixteen of the world's 20 most polluted cities are in China. During the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the government shut down all vehicle traffic and many factories in an attempt to cut smog before the games. Far from being an ecological paradise, China is a growing industrial nation whose pollution controls have not kept pace with its expanding economy.
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Diane Francis blithely ignores the forced abortions and sterilizations in China. She ignores the infanticide. She ignores the male-female imbalance that these policies have created. She turns a blind eye to the unwanted Chinese girls fueling the sex trade in other nations – girls who are sometimes stolen as trading commodities. She ignores the inherent racism of a one-child policy, given that the birthrates most constrained would be those of specific ethnic groups. She ignores the fact that writers like her – and like me – will be the first people stood against a wall and shot when such a totalitarian government comes to power. The freedom to agitate publicly for changes in government policy is the first freedom lost when such dictatorial regimes are implemented.
Diane Francis is worse than a hypocrite. She is a monster. She calls for a policy that would do terrible harm to the free nations of the world while furthering despotism and empowering tyranny.
Diane Francis is also the mother of two children. One wonders which of them she will drown in her earnest desire to save the planet.