Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Conservatives' New and Improved Fuck-You

Here, from December 30, 2004, on the Ayn Rand Institute website (orginally noted at Talking Points Memo), was the intellectuals' old mean and nasty refusal to help tsunami victims:

"According to altruism--the morality that most Americans accept and that politicians exploit for all it's worth--those who have more have the moral obligation to help those who have less. This is why Americans--the wealthiest people on earth--are expected to sacrifice (voluntarily or by force) the wealth they have earned to provide for the needs of those who did not earn it. It is Americans' acceptance of altruism that renders them morally impotent to protest against the confiscation and distribution of their wealth. It is past time to question--and to reject--such a vicious morality that demands that we sacrifice our values instead of holding on to them."
But evidently enough people saw this travesty to send a ripple of discomfort up their shrivelled old spines, and without actually retracting the whole thing they have re-grouped. Now what you get, after some stable-sweeping, is the new improved, more compassionate refusal to help:

"But of all the ways in which our government today fails to uphold individual rights, providing (through compulsory taxation) short-term, emergency relief to foreign victims of a natural disaster is among the most innocuous. It was therefore inappropriate to single out for condemnation the government’s offer of assistance. True, it would be preferable to use the aid money for a legitimate function of government, such as to purchase needed military equipment and armor for our soldiers in Iraq, who are being asked to risk their lives to defend our freedom. It is likely, moreover, that the increase in aid offered by our government in the days after the disaster stemmed not from benevolence but from surrender to the altruists' corrupt demand that the U.S. had not sacrificed enough. Nevertheless, thousands of the government's actions are more damaging to our rights."
Whew! Now devout conservatives and libertarians everywhere can hold their noses and give the government a pass since saving lives and easing suffering is officially a "lesser evil".

Is it any wonder that these people can't bring themselves to repudiate the hate-spewing poison of their media vanguard? (Thanks to Orcinus for the link).

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