, 14 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
You ask if I believe “it would be a morally just outcome if [my] family were to needlessly die of a disease because they were too poor to afford the cure.”
My answer is, “No. It would not be a just outcome if my family needlessly died for any reason, whether because it was too poor to afford the cure for a disease or, for that matter, too poor to afford food, clothing, shelter, or any other necessity of life.”
But the real question here, is what makes this outcome needless?
Is it my failure to rob a string of gas stations or a bank, to obtain the necessary money? Is it the failure of the government to do this for me and then pay the money on my behalf, as under socialized medicine and the welfare state in general?
If that’s the answer, then what you’re recommending as the solution to poverty is a world of force and violence, of “the law of the jungle” and “dog-eat-dog.”
The actual reason that people needlessly die of poverty is that they are the victims of robbery and other acts of force that prevent them from earning money and accumulating savings. These acts are committed overwhelmingly by governments.
And they include acts committed against other people, above all businessmen and capitalists whose capital is plundered and thus no longer available to employ workers or produce better, less expensive products, with the result that everyone is kept poor.
Of course, even in a fully free society, there will be people who temporarily or permanently cannot survive without the aid of others. Their recourse is private charity.
In today’s world, private charity seems like it could not possibly meet the needs of people in distress, however much diminished their number might be.
But the fact is that a laissez-faire capitalist society promotes benevolent attitudes toward others, because dealing with others is voluntary and to the extent that it takes place, a source of mutual gain.
As a result, under capitalism, the normal attitude is that one wants innocent victims to recover and succeed, and one is willing, up to a point, to help make that happen.
In contrast, in a world ruled by socialism and the principle of self-sacrifice, others are viewed as the source of loss, with the result that they are hated.
This attitude was beautifully expressed in a popular joke that circulated in the Soviet Union. God asks a Soviet citizen what he would like God to do for him, on the understanding that He will do twice as much for that citizen’s neighbors.
The answer: “Gouge out one of my eyes.”
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