Harry Binswanger is an old favorite of mine. As a young, radical 20-something, I tore into the delightful “Ayn Rand Lexicon” that was edited by Mr. Binswanger. For the sake of this blog post, I am not interested in all of the libertarian operatics surrounding Ayn Rand and Objectivism – after all, pre-Internet days, for many of us it began with Ayn Rand. I was never an Objectivist or a Randroid – but like so many freedomists my age, I began as a Randian.
Binswanger has put forth a clever article on Forbes; “Obama to Americans: You Don’t Deserve to be Free.” He has nicely deconstructed (and appropriately reconstructed) two paragraphs from ObamaLand, a place where fiction and historical cock-and-bull are the norm. Binswanger is not exaggerating when he calls the text of this speech “a remarkable document.” It’s astonishing to think that, for the most part, these statements went unchallenged in the general media. Here is a link to Obama’s speech in both video and transcript format.
Binswanger takes the simple approach and looks at the underlying fundamentals of markets vs government: “Capitalism means freedom. Government means force.” I will take a step back to explain how government equals force.
All government is necessarily established, administered, and influenced by politics. It is politics that controls all elections, governance, and where the achievement of power resides. Power is achieved only at the expense of others who are subjected to that power without having any choice to opt out of the regime’s rules and actions over enforcement. The political system, played out in the form of an oligarchical structure, props up an artificial entity known as the state, and it is the state that coerces individuals via its random decrees, institutions, and arbitrarily empowered packs of elites. Politics is thus necessarily defined as coercion. Coercion is force. Forcing someone to do something against their will is a crime. Your government is an institution of criminality.
Binswanger has shown how the propagandists in ObamaLand produce fuzzy-sounding, historical falsehoods and then proceed to tell us why that history didn’t work. Then comes the speech from His Majesty on how the government can right historical wrongs that never occurred. This gives rise to sanction for yet another layer of central planning, courtesy of our thieves writ large. But who in the audience has a clue about the lies, let alone the truth?