Philosophical Sleight of Hand

Most philosophers and politicians are too clever to admit what they’re advocating. They don’t say “man has a right to take what he wants” they say “man has no right to keep what he has” and they leave the rest to implication.

They don’t praise thieves, they merely damn property. They don’t advocate theft, they merely condemn ownership. They don’t mention robbery, they merely say you have no right to lock the door. They don’t advocate murder, they just say it’s selfish to want to live.

“We don’t want to take your freedom, we merely demand you do your duty”, “We don’t want to rob you, you’re just a monster if you don’t give away your wealth.”

Of course, the historical progression is eventually what we see — the veil is ripped away from all the fine language, and it becomes an open demand for free stuff provided by everybody selfish enough not to have given everything away already.

It’s very hard to convince a man to murder someone else and take his wealth if you put in in those terms. But convince someone that the wealth is his by right, that the other is immoral for keeping it, that the owner not the thief is the selfish monster, then you have someone who will slit a throat gladly and with a sense of rectitude.

It astonishes me that a man can think the way to get more private property for himself is to abandon the principle of private property — that he will bend it to steal a little from the man above without realizing he is also putting out a welcome mat for others to take the little he does have.

  2 comments for “Philosophical Sleight of Hand

  1. Oct 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Hi, really liked this article, more of the same please. :-)

  2. Paul Marks
    Oct 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Very good.

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