Monday, March 08, 2010

Who is Reponsible for your Health and Happiness?

Kevin McCullough's latest article is warmed over tripe on the theme of personal responsibility. He claims, as conservatoids often do, that liberals want the state to take care of individuals while conservatives want individuals to take care of themselves.
If you wish to see an enjoyable evening with friends become quite animated, then overly hostile, and end in exacting bitterness, ask those in attendance to choose between the following.

As an individual citizen, is it more American to believe that you have a personal responsibility to be personally accountable for your actions, and those of your family? Or is it more American to believe that you should wait for the giant collective to take care of you?
Of course this presupposes two situations.

One a state of nature where individuals are completely responsible for their own actions and live or die on their own merits.

Two a state of collectivism where the individuals needs are the responsibility of the nanny state.

There's quite a bit of a gap between those two. The state of nature, which McCullough apparently supports is, inevitably, one in which the strong control the weak and their is little to no recourse. You may believe I'm exaggerating, but consider how much of the right wing's program is involved in ensuring that citizens have no way to protect themselves from corporations.

I can't speak for all liberals, but I want a society that allows each citizen the space to find his or her own success - governments job isn't to coddle and take care of citizens. It's to protect them from those societal forces like crime and corporations, that would prevent them from seeking life, liberty, and happiness.

1 comment:

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