Monday, October 27, 2008

"Change"? Oh, Yah! It's Called "Leviathan"

This YouTube is all over the 'net, for good reason. (Alternative link from Ace--just in case YouTube "disappears" the original.)

It's a 2001 radio interview of then-State Senator Obama.

In it he talks about the "change" he wants to effect. The discussion he had with Joe the Plumber was NOT an accident--"wealth" re-distribution is precisely what Obama intends to achieve.

Grim has the historical context on Obama's "negative liberty/positive liberty" comment:

The terms "negative liberty" and "positive liberty" come from Sir Isaiah Berlin.

(Quoting Wiki):

Berlin contended that under the influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant and G. W. F. Hegel (all committed to the positive concept of liberty), European political thinkers often equated liberty with forms of political discipline or constraint. This became politically dangerous when notions of positive liberty were, in the nineteenth century, used to defend nationalism, self-determination and the Communist idea of collective rational control over human destiny. Berlin argued that, following this line of thought, demands for freedom paradoxically become demands for forms of collective control and discipline – those deemed necessary for the "self-mastery" or self-determination of nations, classes, democratic communities, and even humanity as a whole. There is thus an elective affinity, for Berlin, between positive liberty and political totalitarianism.

(In contrast, the Catholic Church defines "liberty" as "the freedom to do what is right," an entirely different ground of understanding.)

Back to Grim:

"Negative liberty" is actual liberty. It's freedom from constraint, freedom to do what you can do, to be what you can be. Positive liberty is not the assurance that you'll have the chance to try for something, but assurance that you'll have that thing. The government will give it to you -- which means, the government will force other citizens to provide you with the means

That is a fundamental alteration of our concept of the relationship between government and citizen. It is a radical mode, and one that Berlin rightly warned has often led to totalitarian modes

...I think that now-Senator Obama intends a vision that isn't race-based. Below I described his tax plan as "putting a third of America on welfare," as it would give people "tax cuts" beyond what they pay in taxes -- money for nothing. I think that really is the plan here: not to make payments to minorities, but to make payments to everyone below a certain threshhold

It's grand-scale welfare.

Now there is nothing wrong, per se, with welfare--if one begins with the Christian/Catholic concept of liberty as the freedom to do what is right, which means assisting the less-fortunate. But that is a moral imperative applying to individuals, not necessarily to States.

Elevating the moral imperative to a State-administered system is necessarily messy. Obama conceded that in his discussion of the Courts' civil-rights rulings.

So his default position is that the "messiness" of re-distribution should be legislative instead.

Which means that you have to trust Congress to get it right, if that's the direction you're going.

Side note: If Obama spent all that time in a Christian church, how come izzit he buys this entirely atheistic/secularist line on "freedom"?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever been to a UCC Church? They really have no core doctrine except whatever seems nice. So it is entirely possible that Obama attended that Church for decades and walked away a secular humanist.