The return of the Kennedy curse, and what it means
In recent years I thought we were at long last done with the Kennedys. Nope. They’re back on our faces again, with the familiar accent, the big hair, the grinding self-importance, and the call for fairness, fairness, fairness, all in the person of the 31 year old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy:
Joseph Kennedy III, a scion of the famous political family, announced Thursday that will run for the Massachusetts House seat being vacated by Rep. Barney Frank (D).About which Doug Powers, who links Kennedy’s announcement video, comments:
At last, a Kennedy is running for office with some ideas nobody in the family had previously thought to champion. This race will be won by originality.But let’s think for a moment about what America is, according to this chip off the old block. As Kennedy sees it, we Americans are not creators. We are not free people working individually and collectively to build things, businesses, institutions, families, communities, civilization. We are not guardians of constitutional liberty. We are not even just people making a living. In fact, we are not active human beings in any sense. We are nothing but passive entities with the right to be treated “fairly.” But wait. If the “simple idea” on which our existence as Americans is based is that we have the right to be treated fairly, doesn’t that imply the existence of other entities who must treat us fairly? If we are nothing but the recipients of fair treatment, who are the providers of this fair treatment? Kennedy’s vision turns out to be not so simple—and not so benevolent—after all. It divides America into the unproductive people who have the right and entitlement to “fairness,” i.e., material equality with those who are better off than themselves, and the productive people who have no rights but only the obligation to make the unproductive people materially equal to themselves.
It’s like what I’ve always said about George W. Bush’s vision of universal democracy. If all human beings, by whom Bush really meant Muslims, “deserve” democracy, and if “freedom is a gift,” then there must be some entity who is going to deliver the democracy and freedom to them, namely us. The Muslims don’t have to do anything to secure their freedom, because freedom is a gift; but we have the unlimited obligation to secure their freedom, because freedom is a right. Thus both Kennedy and Bush pervert the truths of the American Founding into a universal Provider State in which the providers are the slaves of the providees.
If you print this, do it anonymously, because, can’t you see, I don’t want to be accused of vile sycophancy. But whilst I was reading “The return of the Kennedy curse, and what it means,” I was thinking, “Damn, ain’t nobody can do this political philosophy thing like Der Austermeister. His ability to unpack, deconstruct, reconstruct, and rationalize political events and statements is unparalleled. In a sane, honest, and non-retarded world, he would be the nation’s leading political commentator and would win the steel-cage grudge match with George Will with a frightful body-slam whilst Vince McMahon shouted, “Oh my!” That’s what keeps us coming back to VFR every day, even though Auster is appallingly bigoted towards people with weird names (e.g. Selwyn Duke, etc.).”LA replies:
Thank you very much.February 19
Vivek G. writes:
You wrote:LA replies:
Good point. But we need to look more closely at Kennedy’s words. It’s true that he speaks of a mutuality, and such mutuality seems to echo the Lockean aspect of the American founding, namely that we recognize each other’s rights. That we do not step on each other’s rights. The idea that “every person deserves to be treated fairly … by each other,” notwithstanding its ungrammatical construction, does sound like the same idea. And doubtless Kennedy’s allies, when confronted by criticisms such as mine, will insist that it is the same idea, just as the defenders of another Massachusetts Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Warren, insisted that her class-warfare rhetoric against the productive was “really” nothing more than an invocation of the social contract.February 21
And let us further remember that in contemporary America, the disadvantaged in need of fairness from others primarily means nonwhites, and the privileged who must be fair to others means whites. A “fair” society is thus one in which whites are required massively to transfer their wealth to nonwhites, even as the number of nonwhites continues to be massively increased by mass nonwhite immigration.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 17, 2012 11:30 AM | Send