Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Selling Hope, the Real Con

This morning I read in an article that no one, 20 days before Obama's inauguration, knows what to expect. All are in HOPE.

How does HOPE arise and what is its source?

Man, to survive, as does any living thing, does so by having beneficial, pro-his life results by which he can continue to live. There are two categories of benefits: Those where the beneficiary does nothing to enact its cause, and those where the beneficiary enacts the cause.

An example of the first kind is when Aunt Louise dropped off a casserole in the afternoon and you didn't have to do much to cook dinner that evening; or when a snow plow plowed your street and you didn't have to dig yourself out to a passable road; or when a rainstorm came in the night and you didn't have to water the lawn the next day.

An example of the second kind is when you got in your car, visited the businesses you would like to work for and landed a job; or you painted a painting you had been thinking about and now either enjoy it yourself or sold it.

Benefits beyond one's control, one can only HOPE for.
Benefits that one can cause, one can ACT for.

The latter are known as VALUES: "that which one acts to gain and/or keep." (Rand)

Obama sold HOPE as a VALUE - which it is not. And that is the con. HOPE is never, never a VALUE anymore that snake oil is a cure.

With the exponential, unbridled growth of government robbing us of our resources and regulations restricting the myriad solutions to the needs we must fulfill in order to live, isn't it clear that whatever we need in life is going to become increasingly something we can only HOPE for? With our power removed they become ever less something we can ACT for?

HOPE is for the powerless. ACTION is for the powerful.

Obama's appeal was to the powerless (and those that believe that the powerless have a claim on the powerful - a fallacious ethic) for the purposes of creating more of them. The powerless take what they can get. The powerful get to decide what they want and act to gain it. In Obama's case that includes deciding what he will give the powerless. He gained our nation's permission by means of his snake-oil charms and now we are going to get what we asked for - alms.

Say bye-bye to your vaunted standard of living. These are the sunset years for that. You are living in the afterglow of a dying fire - yours. Given this state of affairs your only alternative is to get yourself high - I mean high on the Powerful One's list so that some of the benefits you can only hope for gratuitously fall on you. (There is another alternative: become independent.)

Inside this society's system, we're all beggers now - as some of our vaunted businessmen and state governors are amply proving.

And this is why Obama is oh so, so evil - more evil than Bush ever was. Bush was a mixture of premises that still believed in your freedom and although his knowledge of what that means and what he needed to do to enact it was corrupt, his motive wasn't evil.

Obama doesn't even feign loyalty to your right to ACT for your VALUES - i.e., your freedom. He plans to substitute positive rights to benefits for the negative rights protecting your individual freedom to live in society. Obama turned the page. He is a watershed President for the United States and until we grasp what is going on, there is but one direction for us. DOWN. Now corruption will be a way to survive for all. Get out those knee pads.

( Thanks to Dr. Tara Smith in her book Viable Values, p. 84, for this distinction.)


mike brady said...

Bush tried to sell hope with his compassionate conservatism spiel, but his skills as a salesman do pale in comparison to the hope monger in chief.

The Republicans have created a perfect storm for Obama.

The future may seem bleak, but there is reason to "hope" that it won't as bad as we might imagine:

1. Nobody will mistake Obama's policies as free enterprise; whereas the failed socialist and fascist policies of the past 8 years are labeled as capitalist.

2. First and foremost, Obama is a politician. Like Clinton, Obama may not live up to his rhetoric. Unfortunately, unlike Clinton, Obama probably won't be so careless.

I suspect that while he will definitely take advantage of his political opportunities, he's too shrewd of a politician to overreach.

Rob Diego said...

Mike, all indications are that Obama's "hope" will extend to those that got him elected. Not just a few government programs thrown out as alms but huge programs managed by his friends at ACORN going to the non-existent voters who saw so much hope in him. This will be such a massive theft of our production that not even Nero could match it for its splendor. This will be a 4 year celebration of free money and no work. His stimulus package is nothing more than a gift to his friends, political payback, and has nothing to do with stimulating the economy.

Rob Diego said...

Ayn Rand would say:
"The next time you encounter one of those "public-spirited" dreamers who tells you rancorously that "some very desirable goals cannot be achieved without everybody's participation," tell him that if he cannot obtain everybody's voluntary participation, his goals had jolly well better remain unachieved---and that men's lives are not his to dispose of."