Thursday, August 02, 2012

“You Didn’t Build That” The Flip Side of the Coin

Writing over at PJ Media, Ukraine native Oleg Atbashian explains the flip side of the coin on which President Obama's famous "you didn't build that" speech was engraved. In short, by the same logic that all get credit for the achievements of a few, then all can be punished for the failures of a few also.
If the businessman “didn’t build that,” who did? Apparently, all of us did. And if the credit is equally shared, so must be the reward. Jackpot winners all, no more worries about paying the mortgage or filling the gas tank. This thrilled Obama’s voters during the 2008 election, as his speeches removed moral barriers protecting other people’s property, establishing a new morality of forced redistribution of wealth — previously known as looting.

But here’s the catch: everything in this world has a price. If all of us can be credited for someone else’s achievement, by the same logic, all of us can be punished for someone else’s failure. Just as all individual credit goes to the society as a whole, so does all the blame. And if the entire group, class, nation, or race can gain moral authority because some of its members did something right, the same standard grants the moral authority to blame any other group, class, nation, or race because some of its members did something wrong. In the history of collectivism this concept translated into wars, slavery, pogroms, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, expropriation of wealth, deportation, internment, resettlement, and genocide.

The two notions, collective achievement and collective punishment, are as inseparable as two sides of a coin.

But there’s more: if nothing is to your credit, then nothing is your fault. What is the cost of that bargain? In a seemingly fair trade-off, we lose our right to individual achievements but gain the right to blame others for our failures. Collectivism provides us with a sufficiently analgesic illusion of fairness. If you turn out to be a loser, it’s not because you are unqualified: on a whim, with objective standards removed, you can now self-righteously put the blame on those close to you, or on the unfair system, or even on the big wide (and deeply flawed) world.

Read the whole thing. .

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mao still lives here in the U.S.A.!