Progressives’ perversion of compassion

By Robert Ringer

Now that BHO has appointed Donald Berwick – a man who has made it clear that universal health care necessitates redistribution of wealth – to oversee the Medicare and Medicaid health-insurance programs, it’s yet another reminder that progressive politicians and nonelected bureaucrats believe they have the authority to grant, as well as take away, individual rights.

All this gives new meaning to the word arrogance. Any civil human being knows, in his heart, that people have a natural right to be free to make personal choices about their own lives, their own bodies and their own property. This simple truth is commonly referred to as “Natural Law.” It can also be thought of as the Law of Nonaggression.

If one believes it is a violation of an individual’s natural right to force him to do something he does not want to do (e.g., give up part of his wealth or property to others) or prevent him from doing something that he does want to do (so long his actions do not harm anyone else), then government aggression can never be morally justified. In a society of moral people, the Law of Nonaggression would be the only law that would be needed.

Where confusion comes about – and trouble begins to set in – is in the progressive’s perversion of a unique human trait known as compassion. Compassion is why private charity thrives in America, notwithstanding the fact that the government forces individuals to hand over a substantial portion of their earnings to fund immoral government activities.

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Charity is about each individual giving not according to his ability, but according to his desire – to those whom he deems to be in need and worthy of his charity. CC = compassion and charity. Got it?

The progressive, however, does not get it. He tries to sever the link between compassion and charity, and instead links compassion with aggression – i.e., the use of force. And while it may seem self-evident that compassion and aggression contradict one another, thanks to the emotion of guilt, this combo is an easy sell even to those who possess a basic belief in individual sovereignty.

After all, how can a person not be in favor of taking wealth by force when millions are unemployed … homeless … in need of medical treatment … lacking money for education … the list is endless, because human desires/needs are endless. But a person would have to be omniscient, not to mention divinely moral, to know which needs of which people are superior to the rights of other individuals to keep what is theirs.

The fact that 35 percent of Americans favor government-run health care is irrelevant. Lots of people want lots of free stuff. That’s a given. But to take money by force to give them the free services they desire is unconstitutional – and, more important, immoral.

Since the government does not create wealth of its own, the only way it can “help” people – whether it be to give them unemployment benefits, health care or any other commodity – is to commit aggression against others and simply use force to take the resources it needs.

If we are to steer the USA Titanic away from the gigantic Obamaberg that lies in the treacherous financial waters just ahead, the entire concept of entitlements – of any and all kinds – must be rejected by a majority of Americans. The notion that anyone has a right to anything other than what others are willing to pay him in a free market is progressive nonsense.

That includes such sacred cows as Social Security, Medicare and especially unemployment benefits. Liberty-minded folks must not allow themselves to fall into the compassion trap that results in hopelessly tied tongues.

Many conservatives squirm for an answer when asked if they are not concerned about people with pre-existing conditions that have no health care. Of course they are concerned, as am I and most other people. But the solution is not to destroy our current health-care system and make everyone equally miserable.

If insurance companies are forced to insure people with pre-existing conditions, they will have to raise everyone else’s rates dramatically, which is the equivalent of a transfer-of-wealth program. If people refuse to pay such increased rates, their insurance companies will go out of business. Presto: Government achieves full control of health care.

On the other hand, if the government prevents insurance companies from raising their rates so they can afford to cover people with pre-existing conditions, those companies will go out of business because they will quickly incur unsustainable losses. Same presto: Government achieves full control of health care.

Get the picture?

The solution to medical care for people with pre-existing medical conditions – and people who, for one reason or another, can’t afford medical insurance – is private charity. Private charity always works; government coercion never works (except for the politicians who increase their power as a result of it).

As time goes on, progressives will increasingly argue that if conservatives ever force government out of the health-care business, those who can’t afford medical insurance will be left to die. No one wants to see anyone die unnecessarily, but if progressives are as concerned about such people as they claim to be, there should be no problem. After all, in a truly free society they would be free to lead the way when it comes to contributing time and money to set up and fund private charities to provide for those whom they believe are in need of free health care.

Only the most demented Marxist mind would even attempt to concoct a justifiable reason why the use of force is morally superior to charity. The idea that compassion justifies aggression is a perversity that must be exposed for what it is: an excuse for government to increase its power over people. Compassion, on the other hand, leads quite naturally to charity – without government involvement.

Seems pretty simple to me. Nothing whatsoever to get tongue-tied about.