ObamaCare and America's Death Spiral
In his new book The Great Divide, William D. Gairdner posits that the left/right ideological fissure parts upstream of politics and even culture. Rather, our irreconcilable differences originate in the acceptance of philosophical truths whereby for one to be “true” the other must be “false”. One of these mutually exclusive axioms is whether human nature is fixed or whether it is malleable. Original Sin versus Tabula Rasa (blank slate).
Utopian regimes have been propelled by the popular belief that maladies are caused by an imperfect externality and therefore with the correct reconfiguration of the world (i.e. theirs), that theoretically “the human condition can be perfected”. At its core, tabula rasa is incompatible with the traditional Western view of fixed Human Nature. Simply put, The Fall means whether our technology looks like The Flintstones or The Jetsons or our perverts look like Tiberius or Gacy… Human Nature is fixed.
Jacobins, Stalinists, Nazi Socialists, Maoists, etc. were all conscious transformers of society with the purported benevolent intentions… marches toward perfection. It is this dream that is rekindled with each wide-eyed generation. Indeed, what is Obamacare other than American’s having been coerced into participating in and subsidizing someone’s utopian scheme? …so good, it’s mandatory. Indeed, ObamaCare may one day become the impetus to bring every facet of life into line… what the Nazis called Gleichschaltung. Utopianism is compatible and inevitably employs any level of depravity because it is insatiable. After so much misery, surely only a supreme narcissist still believes that he could condition perfection? In a rare candid moment, while accepting his farcical “Peace Prize”, a freshman president Obama provided a fleeting glimpse into his heart:
“But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected.”
The synonymic “human condition” is a nebulous term which neither appears in Webster’s nor Britannica as an entry. In popular usage, it’s nearly interchangeable with the traditional phrase “human nature”; in its most artful reading it still includes Human Nature. No doubt, while the first half of his statement appears to be a curtsy to the “fixed” axiom, it is a sophist’s sleight-of-hand; for he knows that they cannot both be true. Either they can be “perfected” or each human is born imperfect. The result is a pathetic circulus in probando (circular reasoning fallacy) akin to declaring, “But we do not have to think that the 2nd Amendment is unequivocal, to still believe the right to bear arms can be curtailed.” There can be no better example of naked tautology.
Let us proceed. Notice the function of “We” in the first value statement, “But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect”. “We” necessarily implicates “you” while not necessarily committing Obama himself. This paternalistic convention masquerading as “inclusiveness” is exemplified in the mother, who en route to her favorite department store is badgered by her children’s protestations, “I don’t like the mall!” The mother peers in the rearview mirror and snaps, “But we don’t have to like going to the mall to respectfully wait!” The word “we” necessarily implicates “the children” but the mother may very well in fact “like” the mall. Replace “we” with “you” and reread the phrase to ascertain its intended thrust “But you do not have to think that human nature is perfect…”
Obama goes on, “for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected.” “Still?” we are unsure whether Obama is ignorant of the fact that a belief in perfectibility is not the precedence or more probable, this “still” is a personal reconciliation of his own self-perceived logical disjunct. In Orwell’s 1984, state apparatchiks, from the highest to the lowest, live by “doublethink” which basically means reflexively suppressing your conscience by ignoring contradictions in logic and denying the existence of a truth outside the mind.
You likely also noticed that the more prosaic “think” refers to your idea of human nature being fixed while the emotive “believe” deifies “perfectibility”. Obama’s word-choice adumbrates utopianism’s “concealed religion” or push for “Eden on Earth”. Earlier in that same speech, Obama did remark that humans will be “the victim of” temptation and sin. Here, Obama comes his closest to touching truth but inserts that critical partition… “victim”. For disciples of table rasa, it is necessary that the antagonist must be the “victim” of an incorrect configuration, as evidenced by their antagonism. Conversely, those perceived to be more virtuous are to be reviled benefactors of circumstance, as evidenced by their apparent virtuosity. This ex post facto reasoning is why utopians often gravitate toward the morally weaker party in conflicts. Indeed, it bestows upon them a costless feeling/projection of benevolence but more importantly, it’s obligatory to facilitate their backwards world view.
Utopianism is so intoxicating because it allows a decidedly imperfect world to shoulder personal shortcoming with no duty to internal self-improvement but rather endless external tinkering. “You didn’t build that” because that’s how Obama feels about his own unmerited rise. Al Gore condemns us for “overconsumption” because of his own profligacy. Michelle Obama blames us for her racism. If you understand this perverse logic, you understand how a flattering portrait of a terrorist appears in Rolling Stone magazine rather than the child he blew apart. According to Obama’s philosophy, he “fell victim to” temptation and we need to change. We need to root out the tempters! And throw them in the same cell as those who provoke riots and criminality with their “privilege”! For utopians reality is an insatiable witch hunt. A+B must be constantly leveled to equal P. This requires that reality become a relativist clay, aggrandizing and chastising so that A/B will finally equal P which it never does. Forward!!!
Now we must pivot to the less savory long-term implications of Mr. Obama’s rhetorical dance. “the human condition can be perfected.” Really? And who shall be “perfecting” the condition? Obama himself would likely retort “everyone” but we know that’s a canard. “Everyone” means “no one” as F.A. Hayek made obvious in The Road to Serfdom. Whether it rebrands itself under the banner of socialism, Nazism, progressivism, Stalinism, Maoism, collectivism, Islamism, communism… utopia’s inevitable metamorphosis is fascism. Why? Because the road to utopia necessarily becomes sclerotic when billions of competing priorities bottleneck. You see, it’s not just A/B but billions of individuals with their own hierarchy of values/wants/needs. Utopians love to disassemble “the clock” and tinkering with two pieces but can never see that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Soon the deafening cries of a long-slumbering public begin insisting that “someone do something”. Enter the Conditioner! The untenable bureaucracy and economic realities of ObamaCare will undoubtedly lead to total state control providing an illustration of what to expect as the fast-disappearing aspects of private and civic life are “perfected”.
The utopian world view that acutely manifests itself in today’s academics and influential media is esteemed by its exponents as evidently ‘esoteric’ or ‘intellectual’. Where utopianism appears cerebral it is most often because its external explanations are necessarily convoluted to facilitate the simplistic and formulaic uniformity of its undergirding. Ergo, after Muslims executed fellow “raw and subversive” writers in Paris, Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau took up the unsavory task of providing a Orwellian doublespeak explanation (to the relief of less ‘imaginative’ utopians), “by punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings… Charlie wandered into hate speech.” Utopia requires reconfiguration which means disfiguring current society. The favored group/cause/person du jour whom utopians selectively lionize are only useful in so much as their grievances or lifestyles contrast established values. Education is valuable only in so much as it crushes the spirit. Ignore the past save for selective narratives that can lower Westerners conceptions of themselves. Even the utopians themselves are only valuable in so much as they momentarily feed utopia’s inhuman and insatiable digestive track.
Utopianism is not intelligent rather it’s base, visceral, and invisible like carbon monoxide. It requires no instruction manual. Utopians already know to cheer and when to jeer. The so-called “smoking gun” which so many are looking for in the innumerable scandals plaguing our venerable “leaders” is immaterial. IRS official Lois Lerner knew what to do and who to target without needing to be told. Media jesters already know who needs to be crowned in 2016. They don’t need to be told because it’s a psychology not a platform. But they too, even those in the “Inner Party” are dupes that will fall under the tread of their own aspirations, just like Jonathan Gruber, acid rain, and any other apparatchik, cause, or grievance group which is not momentarily expedient for the utopian maw. The past must be purged when it doesn’t serve the march Forward!!
Nascent generations will always be drawn to the canard of perfectibility and there will always appear conditioners to lead them toward Utopia which aptly comes from the Greek word “nowhere”. Now with ObamaCare (or its future mutations) we’ll have bequeathed our posterity the vehicle, tools, and justification to dismantle what remains of the culture we had been gifted. In Fortunes of Permanence Roger Kimball expounded upon Freudianism, Hegelianism, Darwinism, and Marxism’s perennial attraction as stemming from their “beguiling simplicity" and that “All aspects of human experience can be referred to the operation of a single governing process, which thereby offers the illusion of universal explanation”; what Leszek Kolakowski called Marxism’s “one-key-fits-all-locks” philosophy. Key in hand, the new infantilized man barters his responsibilities to truth-seeking for Procrustean unity. The result is a necessary relativism that denies any external truth thus rendering him malleable, fore if reality is only a matter of perspective then utopia is only a matter of someone making sure you have the correct one. You’ll love ObamaCare.