28 Feb 2010

Noblesse Oblige and the Left

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Joseph Finlay, at American Thinker, discusses why the left has it wrong.

With the Orwellian definition now in play, at once the great liberal issues of our day become moral imperatives — and not mere political talking points subject to honest discussion. Nationalized health care, even if unworkable or bankrupting in practical application, becomes a noble obligation for you and me to subsidize — while Congress keeps its own sweetheart plan with no thought of sacrifice by the “more equal animals.” Or global warming crusaders can jet all over the world to useless summits and live in mansions while with a straight face urging the average citizen to turn his thermostat down. “Do as I say and not as I do” becomes an acceptable premise because, after all, the beautiful people really do know what’s best for the rest of us. It is no longer God nudging the heart toward a higher plane of concern based on love and empathy, but rather the state ramming its religion down one’s throat with a cold and heartless inefficiency.

I’d say that charity, from the perspective of the leftwing elite, represents a demand that the world be tidied up so that no unseemliness or unhappiness might mar our haute bourgeois elite’s enjoyment of its pleasures. Their uniformly desired methodology invariably consists of government mandates, i.e. of making George do it.

The impulse toward charitable coercion serves a second function, of course, for liberals. It would be unseemly for a class composed of the most privileged and affluent elements of society to make demands for further allotments of power and prestige on its own behalf. The left is seeking power, trying to redistribute everyone else’s income and liberties, not for themselves, but only for the poor and disenfranchised, you see.

Hat tip to the Barrister.

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