STEALING FIREAt the beginning of this video, the commenter states that early man did not know how to MAKE fire, but could only steal it. This observation stood out for me. AH! This is the nature of man. This is his historical and political and social common denominator. Theft.
In the need for survival, in the quest for protection, man's first and most intractable impulse is to simply steal -- from nature or from others. All animals steal or kill to survive. As we became more "civilized", it was this primitive, animal impulse to steal that was recognized and around which our laws were developed, not just because this granted immense power to a few, but because these few, in turn, acted to control this impulse in society. Only they were allowed to steal. This insured order. In turn, they distributed enough of the loot to maintain order and continued cooperation. Or, of course, they killed those who didn't cooperate. The tribal leaders stole from the members of the tribe, the king stole from the serfs, or the Pope stole from the converts, wars were fought to steal from others. Finally, the modern state arose to steal from everyone.
MAKE IT OR TAKE ITThere are only two ways in which to experience prosperity and therefore insure survival through the security of accumulated wealth, be it a home, or stored food, or extra clothing. You can either make it or take it. Only man is capable of making wealth. But the idea of making wealth is relatively new in man's evolution, while the idea of taking it has been with us since the beginning. And taking it is so very much easier. It is also irreducibly simple. Everyone can understand it. Everyone can benefit from it immediately, if only to meet the smallest needs of gas in your car or a new phone.
The creation of wealth, by contrast, must first begin as an abstract idea for the wealth doesn't yet exist in physical reality. It requires mental discipline, knowledge, and often great effort. This is hard. And it does not happen for everyone.
Everyone can steal. Not everyone can create.
This is one of the greatest differences between the right and the left. The right understands and values the process of discovery and creation, the MAKING of wealth. The left is only interested in stealing it.
A RADICAL IDEAOver two hundred years ago America said that if you make it, you get to keep it. Only in America did this radical idea take hold -- the idea that man should not be enslaved to the strong, dutifully offering up his life and efforts for the promise that power would protect him from the impulse to steal in others. This idea changed man's historical trajectory. Our Founding Fathers placed what had always been the privilege of power in the binding chains of the Constitution, written so that such power could only be applied EQUALLY to protect, not preferentially to enrich, freeing men from the constant threat of theft and releasing the economic engine of creation and discovery. At last! Political recognition that both your physical body and your mind belonged to you, and therefore, no man, no matter his power or his "need" could take from you what you had created. This was truly a radical idea, and remains so to this day.
But on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, we rejected that radical idea to go back to the old ways of theft.
"YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT"At the heart of this telling phrase from our Beloved Leader is this idea that theft is still the most legitimate economic activity among men. "You didn't build that" perfectly reflects the idea that nothing belongs to you. That others with needs, or jealousies, or simply more power, can take it from you.
Whenever any society becomes more concerned with the transfer of wealth than with the creation of it, it is doomed to fall back to poverty, brutality, and the primitive impulse of the caveman.