I can, at a certain extent, understand the fatigue on the topic. It’s a popular one.
Alexander E Jones
21

This highlights one of the fundamental disagreements between left and right in America.

Freedom “from" and freedom “to”.

I don’t live in America, but my beliefs do align with the American right-wing, and they say that with the freedom to worship God in the way that you want, and to pursue the happiness that you want not what others want for you, comes with the understanding that you are ultimately responsible for your own situation.

You seem to believe that being poor and discriminated against is a violation of America’s promise to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” So let us imagine that it was possible to institute a legal, institutional and societal system which made it impossible for anyone to be below a certain wage bracket or to be discriminated against based on their race.

I know it is not possible, but go with me here this is a hypothetical.

Every child in America would have to be taught an education and given a certain level of training that would ensure them a high paying job. Students would be unable to choose the career they want and choose the school they want or the education they receive. Everything would have to be carefully managed to insure that no one slipped below an arbitrarily line at which “happiness" can be achieved. What if you decide that this super competitive society isn’t for you, and that you and some friends will go and start an idyllic agrarian community somewhere where you can get in touch with nature and live simple fulfilling lives because that is what the pursuit of happiness means for you? Not allowed.

But wait, you say, this hypothetical situation in which poverty primarily, but also discrimination, can be eliminated, should simply be an opt-in, opt-out system. But any socialist system, which this would be, requires absolute participation to work. Also, any democratic change of the system would have to be outlawed or it would no longer function properly.

But, you may say, in a society in which poverty and discrimination has been eliminated, any attempted tweaking of the system should be criminalised.

So allow me to paint you a picture. In this hypothetical society taxes are naturally very high in order to maintain the systems necessary to eliminate poverty generation after generation. Now imagine the perfect Billionaire, a man who is a hybrid of Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, and Ghandi.

He owns a social media company that is even bigger than facebook, and invests his money in amazing ways for the people of the whole world.

In affordable energy, education, disease control and vaccines, as well as security and justice for the powerless people of the world. He has indirectly saved millions of lives, and raised the living standards for hundreds of millions. He has raised whole nations from Third World squalor into gleaming modernity. His honour integrity and good works are questioned by almost no one.

Unfortunately for every person he helps there are three he cannot because of the level of taxes he must pay. Now also imagine that you are the president of the fictional society I have outlined. The Billionaire has decided to run to challenge you for the top job.

He is running on a platform of allowing people to choose their own paths and decide for themselves how to be happy, as well as paying far reduced taxes, giving them greater personal power, and agency.

If the Billionaire wins his dismantling of the system will result in SOME people being discriminated against, and SOME people being poor, but it seems to be what the people want.

You have a choice, to allow democracy to work normally or to enforce the system through violence if necessary.

Now you may say that the use of a hypothetical Billionaire Vs a hypothetical socialist utopia is not useful for the real world. But the point of these analogies is to demonstrate a truth about something. No system can function as an eternal free vending machine dispensing anything, even be it something abstract like happiness or no racism.

It may not seem like it at the time, but every time you ask the government to give you something you are relinquishing your freedom and agency a piece at a time in return.

But maybe you make the classic argument, that poor non-whites are not truly responsible for their situation, that they are not asking for a gift, but simply asking that the system that oppresses and enslaves them stop doing so.

Which is bullshit.

Across the span of human history, people with every conceivable disadvantage have risen to outstanding success. Jews, South Koreans, or the Romans after the battle of Cannae.

These people faced mass killings, hatred, economic tribulation, powerful military forces attempting their genocide, and countless other debilitating forces, and yet they all rose to top tier globally in terms of power, wealth, and standard of living. Ethnic minorities in America, by contrast, have access to welfare, affirmative action, and anti discrimination laws.

The main point I am getting at is this.

No one is responsible for you except you. If you request that any outside force, be it society, another human being, or government, realises your ambitions for you, you have chained yourself. And if there is one principle America was founded on it was breaking chains and setting men free.

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