March 31, 2011
By Daren Jonescu
Much of the political crisis facing America today stems from a disintegration of the ethical basis of the free society. That is why the core of the 2012 election fight is not tax rates, job growth, or the national debt. These issues, though of enormous practical importance, are merely the policy manifestations of underlying moral sentiments. The fundamental battle to be waged concerns nothing less than the nature of man, and the moral implications of that nature. If public disapproval of particular Obama policies is to become a lasting movement toward societal renewal, then the conservative's primary objective must be the restoration of American individualism.
The problem is that the warm quilt of entitlement and dependency which the left has so cozily tucked around American society not only restricts freedom of movement; it also effectively reinforces the anti-individualist morality that makes the left's advances possible. In the doublethink names of "fairness" and "security," soft despotism of the modern leftist sort produces a siren-song promise of carefree mother's love forever -- with its corresponding appeal to a toddler's moral myopia, the inability to concretize and respect the wishes and wills of other people. Thus, creeping socialism ushers in a hitherto unknown ethic, which we might dub "collectivist self-absorption."
"We Are the World" and "We are the 99 percent" are both products of this ethic, expressed as, respectively, self-aggrandizing "brotherly love" and self-aggrandizing slothful covetousness. In both cases, the heart of the message is, "We are one; give us what we want." This sensibility is the very meaning of the "entitlement mentality" with which the left seeks to charm America into moral and intellectual submission. The constitutionalist is therefore saddled with the thankless task of serving up the repeated splashes of cold water that might prevent the cozily blanketed moral invalid from drifting into the long, nightmarish sleep of collectivist authoritarianism. Read More