We Belong To The Government

Wow. Talk about politically tone deaf.

This perfectly encapsulates the difference between the Left and the rest of us. They call themselves “progressive,” but the idea of the serfs being the property of the state is as old as the state itself. What’s new is the idea of limited government and individual rights.

[Update a few minutes later]

What was the biggest disaster for the Dems on Day 1? Probably rolling over the big sixteen tee on the debt. Debbie Liarwoman Schultz’s antics are just par for that course.

[Late-morning update]

The slaves embrace their chains. This one will have Bob-1 spun up like a top in comments.

[Bumped]

99 thoughts on “We Belong To The Government

  1. Rick C

    DWS is the gift that keeps on giving. It takes a lot of chutzpah to pull a “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

  2. Curt Thomson

    I’m sure Jim will be along any moment now to explain to the semantically-nuance challenged that it’s a message of togetherness and inclusiveness. How he’s going to address that word “only” might be worth a chuckle though.

    If he’s got the chutzpah that is…

    1. Bob-1

      I’ll do it.

      Ok, If you belong to a church, does the church own you? Of course not! You’re simply a member of the church. The only organization which every adult American has in common is the US government. If you’re a citizen, you’re a member. In fact, you’re one of the bosses, and politicians work for you after you hire them, and they stop working for you when you fire them.

      If you doubt that Americans speak this way, google “belong to a church”.

        1. Bob-1

          A church is not a government, but both are organizations which have members. It is true Americans don’t speak that way about their government, but I’m quite sure that I’ve correctly identified what the speaker meant. How can I be so sure? Because Americans don’t proudly proclaim themselves to be serfs! I think you’re the one who is tone deaf.

          1. Rand Simberg Post author

            I am not a member of the government. It’s amazing how you’re willing to torture language to defend the indefensible, when even the DNC has disavowed it. You seem to have almost a pathological problem in this regard.

          2. Titus

            Unfrozen caveman statist, the word is “country” or “nation” not “government”. Americans never refered to themselves that way until just this week. :)

            Being a “member of the government” implies one is a politican or civil servant.

          3. Bob-1

            Many of the Chicago suburbs copy each other’s website, at least to some extent. Some of them have a flowchart showing how the city or village government is organized (department of public works reports to the village manager, who reports to the Board of Trustees, etc) The flowcharts may have different names for equivalent positions – some suburbs have aldermen, some have trustees, some have council members, etc. But the top of the hierarchy is always the same in each of the flowcharts: the voters are always at the top. These flowcharts send the same message that was sent at both national party conventions: the electorate is the highest level of government.

            If you are a voter — if you are a member of the electorate – then you are a member of the government, and you shouldn’t forget it.

          4. Larry J

            Governments don’t have members, they have citizens. People don’t belong to a country, they’re citizens of a country.

            Your argument is an absurd abuse of the language, an attempted defense of the indefensible.

          5. Bob-1

            By the way, Americans don’t speak only of “belonging” to a church, they belong to all sorts of organizations.

            Google this: “what organizations do you belong to?”
            I’m fairly sure a judge asked me this very question when I was up for jury duty.

          6. Bob-1

            “I’d be embarrassed to be seen there!”

            “Why? The only people who will see you are people who chose to go there!”

            Rand, you blogged about this nonsense. Don’t you have a life?

        2. George Turner

          If the government has members, can we have the treasurer kick out everyone who’s not paying dues?

      1. Curt Thomson

        Government is the only thing we all belong to.

        The only organization which every adult American has in common is the US government.

        Good lord Bob, I think you’ve taken semantic nuance to a new level. A lunar one.

        So, why do you think the DNC is disowning it?

        1. Bob-1

          Because the expression does create an opening the obnoxious and ridiculous criticism that you’re promoting.

          It was probably a dumb choice of words, but to believe that anyone saying it actually believes themselves to be the property of the state is just so over-the-top stupid that it… ….well, it reminds me of people who think there is some meaningful connection between Mayor Castro and Fidel Castro because they share a common last name.

          1. Bob-1

            Because the expression does create an opening FOR the obnoxious and ridiculous criticism that you’re promoting.

          2. Leland

            So you’re cool with people naming their children Hitler? Because that was the point being made, well in that other off-topic thing you brought up.

            And let us know when people refer to the President as their shepherd, and they as his flock. Because people say they are a member of religion, because they hope to be owned by the god that church represents. The reason for “We the People” and not establishing a federal religion was to prevent a sense of the citizenry being owned by the state and the state religion; as was the condition in many european nations at the time.

          3. Rand Simberg Post author

            And let us know when people refer to the President as their shepherd, and they as his flock.

            I think it’s clear that many Democrats view the president and themselves exactly that way. It’s what makes them Democrats. It all perfectly encapsulates the mindset, just like Julia did.

          4. Leland

            I think it’s clear that many Democrats view the president and themselves exactly that way.

            I wish I could ask if you are kidding; but no, you are correct:
            Regardless of where you live, you’re gonna be owned by someone at some point. I think the American government so far has been a fair government and I don’t necessarily hate that I’m owned by them at this point.

          5. Rob Crawford

            to believe that anyone saying it actually believes themselves to be the property of the state is just so over-the-top stupid

            You realize that Democrats on the floor, at the convention, HAVE said they agreed with the “ownership” interpretation, right?

          6. MfK

            “Because the expression does create an opening FOR the obnoxious and ridiculous criticism that you’re promoting.”

            And what, pray tell, does the term “tax expenditure” presuppose but the very same “obnoxious and ridiculous criticism?” Any tax the government decides not to collect is an “expenditure,” which could be the case if and only if all of “our” income actually belongs to the government.

            Sorry, this attitude is too widely manifested among the Left for this instance to be something innocent.

  3. JAH

    From the brilliant British series “The Prisoner”

    I am a man, not a unit of society

    I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!

  4. McGehee

    If I belong to the government, I’m still waiting to see a bill of sale. Of course, the way this maladministration operates I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve lost the receipt.

  5. ken anthony

    Bob, please explain the difference, if you can, between the meaning of the terms ‘subjects’ and ‘citizens?’

    to believe that anyone saying it actually believes themselves to be the property of the state is just so over-the-top stupid

    People do accept false assumptions. For example, anyone can claim property in outer space since nobody owns it. But that thought is so foreign to those that believe only governments can make property claims and only governments can grant property that they can’t wrap their minds around the fact that anybody can claim anything not owned already by another.

    People that want to debate rights rather than assert rights are the very ones that by their actions show they are over-the-top stupid and consider themselves subject and property. Free your mind.

    1. George Turner

      We’re reluctant to claim them because then we could be arrested for possession of stolen property.

      1. B Lewis

        Ah, Ken. You have not shaken off the fundamental lie of the Enlightenment: that the individual is an atomistic, self-owning unit. This is the lie of the Serpent of Genesis (Chapter 3 verse 5, for those keeping score at home) — that we are each “as God”, defining good and evil (and right and wrong, and reality itself) for ourselves. This lie is the basis of the entire Liberal wordview.

        The truth, of course, is that your body is not your property, to dispose of as you will. Your body is the property of its creator, God, and may be used only as He wills. The refusal of modern people to admit this is the root of most of the evils of our modern world.

        Neither is the atomized individual the basic unit of human society. The basic unit of human society is the natural human family, that is, one man and one woman united in lifelong, monogamous, sacramental marriage, along with their issue and near relations. This is the oikos, the “home” that is the basis of all economy, both fiscal and social.

        If the idea that you are not your own repels you, don’t be surprised. We have all been brainwashed from birth to think of ourselves as little gods, each the omnipotent lord and god of the mini-universe of his own body. We are all propagandized from birth with the creed of Lucifer: non serviam, the idea that “nobody has the right to tell me what to do”.

        The fact that the Almighty does have the right to tell us what to do infuriates modern man, and so we have cast God out of our garden — with results you see.

        1. Titus

          Ah, but, being a monarchist, you believe that men are the property of mortal kings, no? Please don’t leave out that part…

          1. B Lewis

            @Titus September 5, 2012, 5:32 pm: Ah, but, being a monarchist, you believe that men are the property of mortal kings, no? Please don’t leave out that part

            Not property of. Subject to.

          2. B Lewis

            Not at all. A recruit is subject to a drill instructor, but is not the D.I.’s property. A child is subject to his or her parents, but is not the property of his parents. In each case, the power of the principal over his (and her) subjects is limited by law (both statutory and natural), and his or her authority is derived from a higher power.

            God, because He is King of the Universe and Creator of all that exists, has a power over us that is unlimited. He may dispose us as He wills and rules us by His own Authority.

            A king, however, is a creature of God and as such is limited in his ability to dispose those subject to him. A king’s authority is delegated to him by God and does not spring forth from his own being.

            A king is subject only to God and God’s law. God Himself is of course subject to no one and nothing. This is why only sacramental monarchy is valid. Any “king” who claims unlimited power over his subjects (i.e. reduces them to property) and who asserts authority in his own right rather than possessing same “by the grace of God” is no king at all.

          3. Titus

            And who interprets “the will of God” if not the papal-caesar monarch? Who possesses that veto power? Who pulls those puppet strings? It can’t be you and me, because then we’re back to de facto self-ownership…

        2. B Lewis

          And who interprets “the will of God” if not the papal-caesar monarch?

          The pope, the only power on Earth superior to the crown. Should the Vicar of Christ deem a given monarch to be acting in violation of the natural law or in some other way acting contrary to his sworn duty, he can simply declare the king (or queen) to have abdicated Latae sententiae and release his/her subjects from their duty to obey him.

          Who possesses that veto power? Who pulls those puppet strings? It can’t be you and me, because then we’re back to de facto self-ownership.

          It’s good that you recognize the difference between ownership de facto and de jure. Out of His love for us, the Deity permits us the freedom to rebel against the natural order. As a result, two types of political authority exist: authority de jure, whose right to rule is based upon the will of the Almighty expressed via tradition (Dieu et mon Droit, get it?); and authority de facto, which is based upon nothing but naked force: “might makes right”.

          For example, the parts of the United States that were formerly united to the British Crown are de jure still a part of the British Empire as it existed under its last legitimate monarch, James II/VII. James II’s legitimate heir, Francis II (currently styled “Franz, Duke of Bavaria”) is the current sovereign (“owner”) of this country and legitimate King of all Americans residing in those portions of the U.S. which were formerly parts of the Empire.

          That’s de jure. The de facto owners of our country today are those persons who hold political power under the laws of the regime that succeeded the original constitutional government of this country beginning in 1865.

          The decision as to which power group holds de facto authority is made in this country, as it is in every country, by the Praetorian Guard — that is, the armed forces. As long as the leaders of our armed forces continue to obey the orders of the regime in power, that regime will remain the de facto “owner” of the United States. The day that the loyalty of the armed forces is directed elsewhere, or is split, then de facto “ownership” of this country will move into other hands — might makes right.

          But no matter who holds de facto power in this country, the legitimate King or Queen of England (i.e. the head of the successors to the House of Stuart) is and will remain sovereign de jure over the former British colonies in what is now called the United States of America.

          And with that, I withdraw from the conversation. Thank you for a stimulating exchange of views. Long live His Majesty Francis II, King of America.

          1. Titus

            So the Pope owns you. Got it.

            The reality is that you can never truly abdicate your free will — you’re always in the driver’s seat of your husk. Other men may use the threat of mortal or eternal punishment, but at the end of the day, it is you who decide to submit or not on an ongoing basis.

          2. ken anthony

            King or Queen of England … is and will remain sovereign de jure over the former British colonies in what is now called the United States of America

            Incorrect.

            Two examples of your argument. Ridiculous and empty. Fail.

            Since you won’t be responding… I WIN!!! [Snoopy dance]

            Nobody could argue with an all powerful creator that said, “Mine!” [Just had a horrible vision of Bill Gates as the creator!]

            But your argument is that nobody owns anything… well, except lawful kings… [How do they own everything if god owns it all?]

            The rest of us just have to laugh at the thought that we can’t own anything. I believe education has driven you mad.

  6. Chris Gerrib

    Rand, it’s really a very common figure of speech. We “belong” to churches, but different ones, and some to no church. We “belong” to various clubs, such as Rotary, and some belong to no club.

    We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, “belong” to the government we elect. We fought a war to ensure that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    The only person who’s “digging a hole” is you, Rand, for failing to understand a common figure of speech.

    1. Titus

      Yes, it’s such a common figure of speech that all instances of Googling “belong to the government” point back to this asinine statement.

      Apparently, no one’s ever used this ‘very common figure of speech’ until today.

      Try again.

    2. Chris L

      Except that if I want to leave any other organization, I can. The “all” part of the statement “the only thing we all belong to” excludes that possibility. Free citizens do not belong to a government, they simply use it as a mechanism to get some things done. There is a difference between the people and the government of the country.

      1. Larry J

        There is a difference between the people and the government of the country.

        [barkingmoonbat]
        Heresy! Burn him!
        [/barkingmoonbat]

      2. Bob-1

        “Except that if I want to leave any other organization, I can. The “all” part of the statement “the only thing we all belong to” excludes that possibility. ”

        Chris, why do you think you can’t give up your US citizenship? You can stay and participate and try to change things, or you can leave — just like any other organization.

        It remains true that the Federal government is the only organization which all American citizens belong to, just as the Presidential election is the only one which all of us can vote in.

        1. Chris L

          The problem with that is that as long as I am actually living and working in the US, I still have to pay the dues (taxes) whether I’m an active member of the club or not. The only way I can avoid paying the dues is to leave the country and everyone I know and love. That doesn’t sound like any voluntary organization I’ve ever been involved with.

      3. Titus

        Why would he need to give up his US citizenship? All he has to do is simply not vote (or cancel his registration). Do that, and you’re effectively out of the game.

        Oh, but I know you’ll say his ass still belongs to the government. It’s the most tortured use the of the word — a guy living in a Unabomber shack in Montana firing his shotgun at “revenuers” no less “belongs to the government” than the President of the United States.

        1. Bob-1

          No, actually, the whole of my argument is that voting makes you a member. Don’t vote, you’re not an active member.

          I don’t know if this would bother Chris, but if you just stop voting, you’re still on the club’s rolls — that is, you’re still eligible to vote. This like other organizations , which often count inactive members on their membership lists.

          Want to keep your citizenship but definitively leave the club? Move, and don’t register to vote in the new location, and also be sure contact your old voting district to get removed from the old voting list. Or become a felon, and live in one of the 12 states where you have your voting rights stripped away for life (or until you change states.

          Finally: yes, if you stop voting, you’ll still have to pay taxes. This is why it is stupid to not vote, and this is why I suggested renouncing your citizenship –that way there is no voting and no further taxes.

          1. Titus

            Some corrections, Bob:

            1. You don’t have to move to get off the voter roles. All you must to do is mail a letter to your county registrar to cancel your registration, and they’ll do it.

            2. Renouncing your citizenship alone does not relief you of taxation. You also must leave the country and take everything with you. Even then, if the IRS decides in its infinite wisdom that you’ve simply renounced your citizenship for the express purpose of avoiding taxes, they can still come after you, espeically if you’ve left any assets open to their leverage.

  7. Ed Minchau

    Chris, notice that “of the people” etc means that the government belongs to the people, not the other way around. Sheesh.

    1. Bob-1

      Ed, notice that there (at least) two meanings of the word “belong” that pertain here.

      This is hardly the most comprehensive dictionary definition of “belong” that exists, but have a look at this:

      be·long (b-lông, -lng)
      intr.v. be·longed, be·long·ing, be·longs
      1.
      a. To be proper, appropriate, or suitable: A napkin belongs at every place setting.
      b. To be in an appropriate situation or environment: That plant belongs outdoors.
      2.
      a. To be a member of a group, such as a club.
      b. To fit into a group naturally: No matter what I did, I just didn’t belong.
      3. To have in one’s possession. Often used with to: “The earth belongs to the living” (Thomas Jefferson).
      4. To be a part of something else: These blades belong to the food processor.

      Sheesh.

      1. Chris L

        It’s pretty clear that the Founders saw the people and the government as two separate entities. The most benign interpretation of the statement “the only thing we all belong to” is that it was an attempt to blur the line between the two. No, Americans don’t actually talk like that.

        1. Bob-1

          “It’s pretty clear that the Founders saw the people and the government as two separate entities. ”

          Since when has the act of voting not been an act of governing? When you vote, you hire, promote, maintain, or fire your underlings, the politicians. You are at the top of the government’s hierarchy, and I have no idea why you think the founders didn’t view it that way.

          1. George Turner

            Just a guess, but because they didn’t think they belonged to King George III or some of the joint-stock companies that founded various colonies?

            It’s like they wrote down thoughts about government, or something…

          2. Bob-1

            The very word “democracy” indicates that the people are the government, or in very slightly different words, the people are the ones who govern.

          3. Chris L

            If the government and the people were synonymous, there would be no need to limit the government’s powers (which I gather, is the whole idea of blurring the terms).

          4. Bob-1

            Of course there is a need to limit the people’s powers! That’s what much of the Constitution involves. The 1st amendment limits the people’s power to stop you from speaking. The 2nd ammendment limits the people’s power to take away your guns. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution limits the people’s power to hire Presidents who are under the age of 35, and so forth.

            This is really basic stuff.

          5. BlueMoon

            Bob-1,
            Yeah, well, if the folks over 200 years ago thought there was such a pressing need to limit the “people’s power” then it’s amazing the 10th Amendment was approved. In case you do not recall the exact words, here they are:
            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
            If the people belong to the Federal Government, why the heck would the 10th Amendment have been needed, let alone approved? Maybe repeal of the 10th Amendment is one of those things POTUS may try to accomplish in a second term when he has more flexibility?

          6. Bob-1

            I don’t see any contradiction here. In our Federal system, citizens are members of local and state governments, and of course they retain all sorts of individual powers. Nevertheless, when we talk about limiting the power of government, if the government is a democracy, we are talking about limiting the power of the people.

          7. Chris L

            The first amendment says nothing about limiting the people’s power, it talks about congress (a branch of the government) making no laws. The people are actually quite free to try to limit each others free speech. For instance, if enough of the people don’t like the blow hard talk show host that broadcaster A insists on putting on the air, the people can organize a boycott of broadcaster A’s advertisers until broadcaster A takes said blow hard off the air. What they can’t do is have congress pass a law saying blow hard an not be on the air. See, that’s the difference between “the people” and “the government”.

          8. BlueMoon

            OK, I give up. You’re right. So, when will I receive my official Federally-issued photo ID certifying “I am a member of and belong to the Government of the United States of America?” If I’m a member of and belong to the club, shouldn’t I have an official membership card? Jeez, then maybe only official member/belonger card-carrying people could legitimately vote for the leaders of the Government and exercise their hiring/firing powers. Nah, that would be racist or something to require folks to have a membership card proving they belong to the only thing that citizens ALL belong to, and control, right?

          9. Bob-1

            Chris,

            First of all, don’t forget this:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights

            Second, clearly the citizens have power via their congress (unless the Constitution limits that power), and clearly the citizens have other powers (unless federal state and local laws limit that power). We the people can’t pass laws limiting speech because of the Constitution (unless we the people change it), and individuals can’t limit others to do much of anything via knuckle sandwiches (unless a group of local citizens can get their local government to make certain kinds of assault legal in some Constitutional way.) .

          10. Chris L

            Actually I am quite free to use any legal means possible (and if I can get enough if my fellow citizens to agree, those will be potent means) to limit someone else’s speech. What I can’t do is use the power of the state to do that. The government is merely an instrument to get some things done. It’s not a definition of national character.

  8. Bilwick

    Is Bob-1 Canadian? I ask because while we have several statists posting regularly here, they all try to at least pretend that they’re not the State-humpers* they actually are, showing at least a lip-service deference to the traditional American value of individual liberty. Bob-1 has that almost naive, “so what’s the problem with serfdom?” servile quality that I’ve found in all Canadian statists I’ve encountered.

    *Is that less offensive than “State-fellator”? Gosh, I sure hope so.

  9. Andrew W

    In the Westminster system there’s “Government” and “government” “Government” being the parliament and civil service, “government” being the governing party. So members of the Democrat party might claim to be members of the “government” or governing party, if only the US had the Westminster system.

    1. Bob-1

      Yes, it is true that in other English-speaking democracies, the word “government” is used differently, capitalized or not. The ideals I’m defending – that government is of the people and by the people – are ideals in all the English-speaking parliamentary democracies as well, and it is easy enough to express those ideals without using the word “government” – it is sufficient to simply refer to words like democratic and democracy, and let the Greek roots do the heavy lifting.

  10. Karl Hallowell

    Well, there’s a bizarre difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. The latter group tries very hard to confirm its negative stereotypes.

  11. Ed Minchau

    Bob, are you truly unaware that the US is not a democracy? It is a republic, and the only people who vote for president are the handful of electoral college voters.

      1. Ed Minchau

        Those state laws aren’t part of the individual state constitutions, and can be changed at any time. Virginia’s 13 votes are not necessarily a legal requirement, Oklahoma carries a fine of $1000…. you must realize that the link just backs up what I was saying: America is a Republic, not a democracy, and the only people who actually vote for President are those in the electoral colleges.

        1. Bob-1

          If we elected a president directly, we still wouldn’t control his actions. And, we do elect members of the electoral college, and then we can’t control their actions (although 99% of them do exactly what we expect them to do). So what’s the difference?

          We the people are still at the top of the electoral hierarchy, whether the President is only one level down, or whether the President is two levels down, with the electoral college just one level down.

          Furthermore, you’re only addressing the Federal government, and you’re only addressing the Presidency. At the Federal level, members of Congress are directly elected, and the Judiciary is appointed. At the state and local levels, all three branches of government are directly elected.

  12. Alan K. Henderson

    Somehow the “we belong to the government” quote brings to mind this blast from the past:

    “The focus of my work as a domestic mediator is meeting the needs of the children that I work with, by way of their parents, and not the wants of their parents. And I ask the three of you, how can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect the two of you, the three of you to meet our needs?”

    – The Ponytail Guy, 1992 Presidential debate in Richmond, VA

  13. Alan K. Henderson

    On another note…never mind what the ad means by “belongs to the government.” The ad says that the act of governance is the only thing that all Americans have in common. That’s false on two fronts. First, we have other things in common – at the very least our species. (Unless the phrase “Klaatu Barada Nikto” flashes across Obama’s teleprompter.) Second, to say that the government is something we have in common is like saying World War II is something the Germans, Poles and Russkies have in common. Government divides, when government is used to rob Peter to pay Paul and third-party bureaucrat Mary.

    1. Bilwick

      Indeed. But given the DNC is the main political arm of the Cult of the State (USA chapter), I think using Occam’s Razor it is pretty obvious what they mean by “belong to.” It was the attitude expressed by Janet Reno (aka “Jackboots Janet”) when, dismissing negative comments on some of her actions, told her minions they should be proud to serve a government that “allows” its citizens more freedom than other governments do.

      I was pretty much out of the Sixties Counter Culture, and the New Left as I encountered it on campus (where I was helping organize first a YAF chapter and then a libertarian “cell”) was a bunch of Marxist bozos, but there was one quote from that gang I think was right on the mark: H. Rap Brown’s statement that “If someone lets you be free, you’re not free.”

      Right on, brother. Dare to struggle, dare to win!

  14. Bilwick

    Why is everyone writing in italics? (At least that’s how the comments are showing up on the computer I’m using now.)

    I like Nock’s distinction between government and the State. The government is what society organizes to protect itself from aggressors, foreign and domestic. The State is the engine of coercive wealth redistribution; or as Voltaire said, “The State is that marvelous engine for lifting money from one pocket and placing it another.” This is why I use “State” in “State-fellator” or “State-humper,” to denote the kind of sado-masochist who gets off on using the Mailed Fist and the Iron Boot to force their will on others–usually in the form of taking away some people’s money and giving it to others.

    1. Leland

      Someone probably forgot to close italics in a comment…
      Unfortunately, a stray close italic comment doesn’t seem to fix it.

  15. Bilwick

    Forgot to add that using the above Nockian terminolgy, I suppose I could “belong to” the government in the same sense that I “belong to,” say, a neighborhood watch or a local militia. (And by “militia” I’m taking about the kind of militia that showed up at Lexington and Concord, not weird neo-Nazi inbreds of the back country.) Otherwise I no longer “belong to” the government any more that someone would “belong to” a private security firm or bodyguards he hires to guard his property and/or person.

  16. Alan K. Henderson

    Looking at the ad a few times, I think that they really did mean to connote the idea of “belonging” to the government in terms of everybody being a member, as opposed to everybody being its property. The images convey the image of everyday folks taking part in governance. (Does that include illegal aliens, I wonder? Do they belong to the government?) But it’s a lie. In Democrat practice, government is a lynch mob siccing one half of the country against the other, with the leftist elite taking most of the bounty.

    Something Western leftism has in common with Communism – which sheds light on that Commie Newsweek cover:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/alankh/akhblog/Newsweek-SED.jpg

    Image on the right is the logo for the East German Communist Party (SED).

  17. Titus

    Something Western leftism has in common with Communism

    It should — Western leftism gave birth to communism. (Yes, years ago, I had the very good fortune of having an octogenarian acquaintance thrust that little volume into my hands to “educate” me — which it most certainly did, but not in the manner intended, clearly. No doubt in my mind he was a genuine card-carrying Party member back in the day…)

  18. Ray

    Hm, I am similar to Rand in my political leanings, but I also try hard to give any speaker the benefit of the doubt.

    Would anyone complain if the quote was “The government is the only thing that we are all a part of”?

    It doesn’t seem that unreasonable a thing to say if you are thinking positively about concerned citizens in a democratic republic.

    It just seems rather cheap to make fun of stuff like this when all three parties would run things in a way that guarantees that the US government will go bankrupt. Yes, some would be slower than others, but so what? Nobody is willing to cut the budget by 50% right away and refuse to allow further borrowing. Anything else is just hoping for unicorns.

      1. Bob-1

        One guy seemed to agree with your interpretation. None of the rest of the interviewees showed any evidence of doing so.

        The idea that a bunch of Americans (and many of them were African-Americans) would accept the idea that they were *property* is an extraordinary claim and it requires extraordinary evidence.

        As for the one guy mentioned above, I think he was being too clever for his own good, but maybe not – maybe he is either nutty or a moron – but you’re gong to have to do better than that.

        You know what would have been better? If the interviewer had said “Wait, by ‘belong’, I mean ‘as in property of’ — do you agree that you are the property of the government’?

  19. ken anthony

    Bob that’s the trouble with words and word lawyers. Belong. Property of. Beat the weeds and ignore the context.

    Which is prior? Government or the individual? That is the question.
    Slavery or liberty. That is the question.

    Government has the power, but might does not make right.
    Government does not have the intelligence, that is forever distributed among all the people. This alone is reason to defend the individual from government power. Give me liberty or give me death. Obama says, “ok, I’ll give ya death… because we certainly can’t allow liberty. You will buy a Chevy Volt. The government decrees it.”

    1. B Lewis

      Might doesn’t make right, but it does make reality.

      And reality is that in any form of social structure an elite will rise and will rule. The trick is to make sure the elite in power adhere to a traditionalist worldview and respect the natural law.

      1. ken anthony

        That’s the whole beauty of the founding of this country B Lewis. As I said, force is more fundamental than rights. But if you start with rights and rule of law, force works for rather than against.

        Exceptionalism is in regard to the entire history of the world and only America had it. We’re losing it because people do not educate themselves to what the founders did. Obama’s clear lack of understanding of American exceptionalism, all by itself with no other required issues or qualifiers, should have by itself alone disqualified him to be president. The fact that he is, in one person, the embodiment of so many things that each separately should have disqualified him shows how deeply this country is in the abyss.

        This should be understood, without jingoism, by everyone in this country before they become teenyboppers. We are in serious danger because it is not.

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