Wonkette and the Election Debate

 Posted by on 11 January 2007 at 6:40 am  Uncategorized
Jan 112007

Wonkette “discusses” the Ayn Rand Institute’s recent press release on Schwarzenegger’s plan for universal health coverage. The scare quotes are deliberate; the post mostly consists of some snide comments based on the strawman that Objectivists “find something wrong with the idea of making basic medical care available to the self-employed and working poor.”

However, some of the comments are worth reading on the principle of “know your enemy.” For example:

Property, contrary to many libertarians, is not a natural right or law. If no natural right to health coverage, there is no natural right to property, either. So from a pragmatic standpoint, why should we put the arbitrary right to property above the arbitrary right to health coverage?

Pathetically enough, the comments after that mostly devolve into “Fuck the Randians” kind of insults. That’s the state of the political debate on the left these days. It’s a consequence of its ideological vacuum. People with an ideology, however wrong, defend it vigorously with arguments. They attempt to persuade others of it. That’s what the left used to do, but no more. They are ideologically dead, even if not yet politically dead. (The only exception seems to be the environmentalists, but that’s illusory: environmentalist philosophy is a wasteland of mediocrity without any powerful intellectual force driving it. I’m not alone in that view: my environmentalist philosophy professor, himself an egalitarian environmentalist philosopher, was of that general opinion.)

Also, in the election debate, I recall that some Objectivists advocated voting for Schwarzenegger because he opposed the Democrats’ proposal for socialist medicine in California. I read a bit of the news about that bill and his veto: it was glaringly obviously that Schwarzenegger acted on no principle whatsoever. So now — surprise, surprise, those very Californians will likely enjoy the Republican version of socialist medicine.

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