Got a message on Face Book from a Ben Leeds Carson responding to a request from us to become a “friend.” On Face Book I identify my political interests as Libertarian, “more or less.” Carson wrote in part: “ … since libertarianism is, to me, the belief that freedom consists primarily in leaving people alone (and is therefore antithetical to ideas like "the commons", the neighborhood, and to social justice in general), I cannot, unfortunately, begin there for our basis.
I replied: “Leaving people alone -- to conceptualize for themselves how they want to view the “the commons”, their own neighborhood, and the ideal of social justice (whatever that might be), rather than placing these high ideals in the hands of “Authority.”. The idea that conceptualizing these matters should be left to “Authority” is the time honored ideal of the Assyrians and Egyptians on down through the centuries to the Soviet Union and any number of present day nations and, increasingly, the U.S. of A. “Democratic Imperialism.” As a first thought.
Carson replied in part: “Beware of any notion ("authority," for example) that requires you to sweep across history with such a broad brush. The socialist critiques of capital are not nearly so monomaniacal. If tyranny were reducible to one handy principle we'd have defeated it by now.”
And it went on from there. I think it clear, upon reading our brief exchange (which you can see on Face Book), that Carson knows more about the “socialist critiques of capital” than I do. Occurs to me here to wonder what the socialist critiques of authority (power) are. If authority/power is used by the few for the greater good for the greatest number, then I would say it’s all for the best.
Ambrose Bierce wrote someplace: “Death -- the greatest good for the greatest number.”
Meanwhile, Carson has reminded me, with very little effort on his part, that if I am going to reply to any message on Face Book or anywhere else, that I should do so in thoughtful manner, not how I did it here.
I myself am the personal beneficiary of socialist programs run by the Federal Government. None of which I am refusing to participate in. Only recently the Veteran’s Administration, run by the State, put several tens of thousands of dollars into curing me of lymphatic cancer. It will be argued by some that I deserve this financial help because I am a wounded veteran who helped defend his country. That was Korea 60 years ago. This scenario is questionable, just as the righteousness of that brutal, murderous war are questionable.
And it is questionable because I did not volunteer for Korea to serve my country. At the time I was a corporal of the guard for the Army Security Agency in Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania. I volunteered to go to Korea as a rifleman (the only way you could get there) because I wanted an adventure, wanted to be in a place of danger, wanted to experience warfare. I was 20 years old.
All in all, it worked out pretty well. For me. Not for the masses of the murdered. Two, three, four millions? Is that irony? The greatest good? The greatest number? The greatest State?
Meanwhile, the State is not going to help me forward an environment of intellectual freedom for revisionist arguments about the Holocaust story. The Head of State himself, Barrack Hussein Obama, has condemned such an effort. At the same time, I expect him to encourage the U.S. Congress to participate in contributing millions of dollars toward preserving the Auschwitz Hoax for future generations.
The State in operation. A "broad-brush" notion?