Alice in Liberal Land

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Fortunately, that was nipped in the bud. But it shows how widely the self-anointed saviors of Liberal Land feel entitled to take decisions out of the hands of mere ordinary citizens.

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner says, “We’re facing a very consequential debate about some fundamental choices as a country.” People talk that way in Liberal Land. Moreover, such statements pass muster with those who simply take in the words, decide whether they sound nice to them, and then move on.

But, if you take words seriously, the more fundamental question is whether individuals are to remain free to make their own choices, as distinguished from having collectivized choices, “as a country” — which is to say, having choices made by government officials and imposed on the rest of us.

The history of the 20th century is a painful lesson on what happens when collective choices replace individual choices. Even leaving aside the chilling history of totalitarianism in the 20th century, the history of economic central planning shows it to have been such a widely recognized disaster that even communist and socialist governments were abandoning it as the century ended.

Making choices “as a country” cannot be avoided in some cases, such as elections or referenda. But that is very different from saying that decisions in general should be made “as a country” — which boils down to having people like Timothy Geithner taking more and more decisions out of our own hands and imposing their will on the rest of us. That way lies madness exceeding anything done by the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland.”

That way lie unfunded mandates, nanny state interventions in people’s lives, such as banning circumcision — and the ultimate nanny state monstrosity, ObamaCare.

The world of reality has its problems, so it is understandable that some people want to escape to a different world, where you can talk lofty talk and forget about ugly realities like costs and repercussions. The world of reality is not nearly as lovely as the world of Liberal Land. No wonder so many people want to go there.

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  • Maxie

    In Liberal land the feel-good verdict comes first then comes the trial. Most often the trial (reality) refutes the original verdict (wishful thinking). Of course "mean-spirited" conservatives get blamed for the failure..
    The current Liberal/OWS "verdict" is that socialism will be better than capitalism. There have been ninety-five million persons killed in the name of socialism during the twentith century (Re: The Black Book of Communism by Courtois et al) but we'll get it right this time won't we?

  • truebearing

    Many on the left believe that reality itself is subject to the political alchemy of collectivism. They seem to think that any collective idea transcends natural law and logic. They truly believe that any moronic idea, if adhered to by enough fanatics, is truth. If their leaders were that gullible they'd be a lot easier to defeat. The Left's upper level leaders know that the entire thing is a lie built upon another lie, but they will gladly sacrifice truth and human lives for total power.

    • sedoanman

      This post is amazingly perceptive, a definite keeper. Thx.

    • Ralph

      That's right, and if you really want to see how liberals think you should just examine their 'spiritual' beliefs. Go to any new age expo and just look at all the stuff those people believe is real.

      I remember when my girfriend and I were dragged to one of those expos at the New Yorker hotel by a friend of hers who was into all that. What a culture shock. There were booths hawking all sorts of idiocies and free seminars touting expensive services such as energy healing. There were cameras to take a picture of your aura, where people can have proof that they are spiritually advanced beings (a recurring theme for new agers). There were all sorts of fortune tellers, psychics and tarot readers. There were numerous devices that promised miraculous healing and other benefits (the best example: Chi pants. Cheap harem pants with a supposed chip sewn in at the base of the spine, which promised to give off electromagnetic vibes to
      raise your energy and awareness. 20$ pants going for north of 100$). There was organic food (one of the few 'real' things there, but you should've seen the prices on that stuff). There was booth for the "Pleaideans", aliens who are on earth to help us (that's right, travel hundreds of light years and then set up a booth at an expo).

      One of the seminars we went to summed the whole thing up nicely. It was a Chinese energy healer who would wave his hand or a crystal over someone's body and then declare the person healed. One exchange went thus:

      Chinese guy: OK, I am now clearing the negative energy from the area! So, that's better, right?

      Volunteer: Uh…yeah…I think.

      Chinese guy: Good! How much better? 10 percent? 20 percent?

      Volunteer: Uh…20 percent?

      Chinese guy: You see?! That's very good for only five minute work. Imagine if I had you for a whole hour!!

      If they believe all that, then how hard would it be for some sharpie or fanatical politician to sell them any social utopia snake oil they might have up their sleeve?

      • ebonystone

        G.K.Chesterton, about a hundred years ago noted: "When people lose their Christian faith, the danger is not that they believe in inothing, but that they believe in anything."
        And, boy, was he right! Since his time we've had the major catastrophes of belief like communism and fascism and the Great Sciety. And all the minor flights from intelligence and rationality like: hordes of phony gurus, swamis, and "perfect masters"; ancient astronauts, channeling, crystal power, and Black Athena; Moonies, Black Muslims, wiccans, and scientologists; man-caused global warming and Gaia.
        Despite all our bragging about how many more college graduates we have these days compared to 50 or 100 years ago, it's clear that the population is becoming steadily more ignorant and more credulous.

  • StephenD

    There are those with a plan and those that follow those with a plan with blind faith, looking for a utopia on earth. The princes of the world will gladly accept the fidelity of the followers on that road to hell which is paved with good intentions.

    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." AynRand

    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." – Martin Luther King Jr

  • freedomrider

    Thomas Sowell for President.

  • Dan

    The term collective was used many times. It made me think of the Borg Collective on Startrek. Hmmm wonder if the Borg were liberals?

  • Hugh_Young

    Actually the proposed circumcision age-restriction (not a ban) was a conservative measure, putting the most individual of decisions, about ownership of one's own body, back in the hands of the individual most directly concerned.

    It is anomalous that parents ever thought they had a "right" to cut part off the genitals off a baby. That "right" was extinguished more than ten years ago when the baby is a girl, no matter how minor the operation (so it's not about the horrors of Africa) and regardless of the parents' religion (and many Muslims think female cutting – often just a token – is required by Islam).

    People forget that the effects of circumcision are lifelong, affecting not just "their" baby (in their stewardship, not their property) but the man he is to become, who will have his own opinion about how much of his own genitals he wants to keep.

    • GKC

      But last month, the group collected the more than 7,100 signatures needed to get a measure on the fall ballot that would make it illegal to snip the foreskin of a minor within city limits. Now a similar effort is under way in Santa Monica to get such a measure on the ballot for November 2012…. From the NY Times

      Essentially a ban, is it not? Nice play on words…the proposed circumcision age-restriction (not a ban). You uncircumcised Philistine!

      • Hugh_Young

        "illegal"? There"s an exemption for genuine medical need.

        "snip"? With a Gomco or Mogen Clamp it's sliced (and a Mogen may take more than just the foreskin, which has led to successful claims worth millions and the Mogen company going out of business). With a Platibell it's crushed and allowed to die. With an Accu-circ it's chopped. But never "snipped".

        It's a ban in exactly the same way that cutting off a baby's earlobes is banned – in fact this lawyer argues that no extra law is needed: The real question is why an exception was ever made for male prepuces.

        "un-"? No, whole, complete, natural.

        "Philistine"? Names will never hurt me, and the >2,000,000,000 of us include many men you admire:

  • Tom Tobin

    Liberals impose their view on others? Far fewer liberals get away with imposing their views on conservatives, than conservatives get away with imposing their views on liberals.
    Speaking of imposing your view on another, the last time I checked, circumcision is literally carving your view into the flesh of another person's body. Name another instance where that is acceptable. Name another healthy body part which is removed without the owner's consent. Why does America stand alone, in supporting this skewed view? No other country tries to justify circumcision medically, or pretend that the harm it causes does not outweigh any potential benefit. The lawyers will tell you what the doctors will not. Just do a web search for circumcision and wrongful death. It's not hard to find enough results to turn your stomach over twice.
    What is the problem with waiting until he can decide?

    • GKC

      circumcision is literally carving your view into the flesh of another person's body. Name another instance where that is acceptable….


      • Hugh_Young

        Abortion and circumcision are two different issues, with different beings involved. Nobody is FOR abortion, we just disagree about when, in the course of the extraordinary journey that is a pregnancy, it should no longer be permissible. But whenever they may begin, human rights do not END at birth.

  • GKC

    "Abortion and circumcision are two different issues, with different beings involved.""
    Different beings? Human beings.
    " Nobody is FOR abortion…."
    "…we just disagree about when, in the course of the extraordinary journey that is a pregnancy, it should no longer be permissible. "
    "the proposed circumcision age-restriction (not a ban)".
    "But whenever they may begin, human rights do not END at birth."
    If both abortion and circumcision are simply people exercising their rights then a foreskin or a chopped- up body are then roughly equivalent? It's OK to vac, salinate, or even deliver and puncture the skull of a baby but leave them foreskins alone? Human rights you say? We are now at the point where human rights aren't even granted after birth(witness live-birth abortions and the response of the abortion team or "doctor") .So, if one can choose to destroy the living, then what is the point of banning the circumcision of a mere foreskin? After all, in the course of the extraordinary journey that is parenthood, it should be permissible as well.

    • Hugh_Young

      An abortion involves one or two beings (we can argue forever about when second one comes into, um, being, and I don't intend to do that here, but that is the whole point at issue), a circumcision only ever involves one.

      Neither abortion nor circumcision is "simply people exercising their rights", so the rest of your discussion is moot.

      "Roughly equivalent"? It was YOU who insisted on making the comparison, not me.

      The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, supported by the National Right to Life Committee officials and other pro-life advocates and signed by President Bush guarantees that every infant born alive enjoys full legal rights under federal law, regardless of his or her stage of development or whether the live birth occurred during an abortion.