Healthcare: The Leftist Mentality

By: Ashley Roy

Last Saturday, the Liberty Players put on a performance in defense of “Single Payer Healthcare” (a facet of socialized medicine). But what does their “defense” consist in? How do they justify nationalizing an industry? They don’t, and frankly, they can’t.

Even in a casual skit like theirs, one should hear some mention of the principles involved in transferring powers to government that were formerly vested in individuals, and in translating lawful protections of man’s freedom of action into controls. These principles would have to include the nature of rights and government (politics), and of the moral code that gives rise to them (ethics). But no such mention is made.

The problem with groups like Players, however, is deeper than their lack of an answer to such fundamental questions as, “Is one man’s need a claim on the lives of others,” “What are rights, and where do they come from,” and “What is a government’s proper function?” At root, they won’t even ask these types of principled questions.

Nor is it as if they deal with the relevant points passive-aggressively. When they portray spineless politicians being “pulled and tugged” into submission by “greedy” insurers, they evade the need to justify their ends and means altogether.

Certainly, it is true that in this matter like every other, Republicans and Democrats are bedfellows; but no amount of private dollars can seduce them like the pull of their own unchecked, inescapably similar premises. Their differences are merely a function of mentality: the Right pretends to care about freedompaying lip-service to individual rights and America’s heritagewhile the left sees no need to dignify their position, dancing in costumes and jeering at a world they know nothing about.

8 Responses to “Healthcare: The Leftist Mentality”
  1. Nat Hunt says:

    It never ceases to baffle me when people point to government failure as a need for more government. If the problem is that industry is in bed with the government, the solution isn’t more tools of coercion for them to use.

    • ashleykarenroy says:

      In a certain sense, in a mixed economy like ours, industry and government *have* to be in bed: the former is tied to the bedpost by the latter. We’re talking political rape, i.e. extortion, but the dollars extorted from the victims are treated as voluntary *bribes.* In this way, the victim is made to look like the perpetrator.
      But, loosening the metaphor, leftists see industry as the *corrupter* of government, and this is why, when they begin to sense subconsciously – in a hazy, mixed-up sort of way – that industry and government are opposites, not “partners” as they explicitly insist, that their answer to every (real or imagined) problem is: “more government.”

      • Nat Hunt says:

        Ashley, the leftists are wrong about industry corrupting government (since the essence of government is coercion, even before any firms show up), but I think you may be wrong about government corrupting industry – although I’m probably just misunderstanding you. Unfortunately, lobbying and rent-seeking doesn’t consist only of trying to losen the chokehold government has put industry in, it also consists in large part in trying to put the grip on someone else’s neck to the firm’s advantage. Ever since the Interstate Commerce Commission, businesses have been taking regulation intended to restrain them for the public good, and using that regulation to choke out their competitors, force their suppliers to charge lower rates, and to gain exemption from existing laws (this is a thoery called Regulatory Capture). We have to keep in mind that industry doesn’t consist solely of Howard Roarks and Hank Reardens – there’s a disturbing number of Peter Keatings that rise high enough to gain political pull.

        • ashleykarenroy says:

          Government involvement in the economy corrupts industry by changing an individual’s referents from facts to guns (indeed, its guns are aimed at facts). Its political interference prevents producers and consumers from taking the rational, long-range, self-interested actions they otherwise could (and would, if they wished to prosper in a free market). Thus free market virtues cannot be practiced under statism.

          This does not change the fact that in any context, a man must choose to pursue good ends or bad. But the man who uses government to achieve irrational ends under statism will attempt to achieve those same ends by other means under capitalism. A Peter Keating is a Peter Keating no matter what the society he lives in. Yet political context does change the weapons at a Peter Keating’s disposal, and either liberates or enslaves a Howard Roark’s primary tool: his mind.

          Nothing government does can corrupt an industrialist, or any individual for that matter, but every intervention into the economy corrupts industry by placing a muzzle between reality, production, and consumption. Trade and the judgment it rests upon are only possible to free men.

  2. DON ROY says:

    Your points are well taken. There is rarely a discussion of the underlying values of their desires. Their positions are based in “feelings” “don’t you want everyone to have health care” and not in reason. They do not want a discussion on the options available to deal with healthcare costs and related issues, they just want what they want and damn the consequences.

  3. Craig Price says:

    Yeah, I agree with Nat. If combining politics and Health care was a disaster in the first place, then it should be painfully obvious to everyone watching the skit that doing more of the same (to a much larger extent) simply cannot do anything but harm. They failed at their own skit’s logic, sheesh.

  4. Karen Roy says:

    How is health care even part of our Federal Government? The Gov’t extends itself in so many ways beyond their purpose of protecting an environment for/of Freedom. Let me buy the health care program that I choose for my family and let me deal with the consequences if I choose not to buy any coverage. Either way, I will take care of my family by the decisions I make and not at the expense of others.

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  1. […] recently discussed the Left’s approach to whether we should nationalize healthcare, I will address what the Right considers its opposite […]

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