Having gone on at some length to demolish a single Leftist sentence riddled with lies, it’s time for me to tackle the next Leftist poster that I found on Facebook. I think this one will do for my next effort at exposing the rank dishonesty hiding behind some of those “cute” or “clever” posters your Leftist friends put up on Facebook:
There go those Leftists again, unable to distinguish between basic government services, which even the most extreme libertarians support, and an all-powerful, all-encompassing government that perverts our economy and exerts control over every aspect of our lives. To understand that difference, it’s useful to go back to the father of limited government, Adam Smith, and see what he had to say on the subject of government’s role in our lives (emphasis mine):
All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing it towards the employments most suitable to the interest of the society. According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expence to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.
As Milton Friedman explains in Free to Choose: A Personal Statement, few quarrel with the first two duties; namely, national defense and basic policing (i.e., no “free” society can countenance allowing its citizens to murder or assault each other). It’s the third duty that confuses (“the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or a small number of individuals, to erect and maintain”). To conservatives, such as the guy in the t-shirt in the above poster, a locally governed fire station naturally falls into that third category.
To conservatives, such as the guy in the t-shirt in the above poster, a locally governed fire station naturally falls into that third category. After all, no single person is going to invest in a fire department, but almost all American communities agree that it is to their benefit as citizens to have their local government operate a fire department. In other words, there’s nothing wrong or hypocritical about the relieved property owner being grateful to employees of the local government institution that he’s funded and that is entirely consistent with his small government philosophy.
The Left, however, takes Adam Smith’s third duty of government and perverts it to mean that a socialist government is the purest expression of this government duty, never mind that such a government perverts the free market that is at the center of Smith’s philosophy. To the Left, that government is best which governs most. Public works, therefore, include policing wages, controlling corporate policies, directing curriculum in educational institutions, and in all other ways imaginable using its power to direct every aspect of the public’s lives — all of “the good” of the public, of course. Only this world view would lead someone to view as hypocritical freedom-loving American thanking his local fire department for their services.
I think that’s all I need to say about the above poster.