ISSUES IN FOCUS

Week of March 8, 1999

 

SWISH!


It has always boggled my mind that some women continue to live with, and work to support, men who beat them up on a regular basis.  Apparently, such women maintain such a relationship because their self-esteem is tied to the relationship and/or that living alone is so terrifying that it is preferable to tolerate such abuse.  These women support their own destroyers and they do so willingly.

The political equivalent of the foregoing is the producer who supports, explicitly or tacitly, the plunder and regulation of his efforts.  Ayn Rand characterized this phenomenon as the sanction of the victim: the person who unwittingly supports his own destroyers.

This phenomenon—the sanction of the victim—is all that props up statism.   There is nothing else that supports it.  Left to their own devices, statists could not even feed themselves, let alone rule others who produce the materials that make life possible.  Statists can only succeed by having the active cooperation of the productive.

Most in America lead double lives.  Privately, most live by the standard that each must earn his own way, that each must stand on his own two feet.  Publicly, most support the notion that others have a "right" to their earnings.  With their blessing, they allow others to pick their pockets.

Consider the so-called "trade" group: The Software and Information Industry Association—a group of myopic parasites, if there ever was one.  Like a bunch of lemmings, which destroy themselves, this group of semi-productive individuals is now calling for the government breakup of Microsoft.

The companies that are members of this group are apparently so terrified of making it on their own in a free market that they embrace statists who seek to pummel Microsoft and, in doing so, tighten the noose around everyone’s neck, including the collective neck of this "trade" group.

This group’s actions represent a form of suicide, a form of self-destruction, of shooting themselves in the foot, of throwing away the key after locking themselves in the jail.  They empower statists with a weapon that will eventually be turned against them.  They don’t get it, they fail to grasp the principle involved, and are assisting statists in their efforts to bring software and computer companies under their control and regulation.  But statists understand the principle involved in their efforts, even though their victims, in most cases, do not.

Consider the grisly spectacle of Intel caving in to statists under pressure of antitrust action brought against them by the Federal Trade Commission.  A FTC spokesman said that "…the commission sought to establish a principle, and the staff believes the proposed agreement achieves that goal."  Indeed it does.

Both sides—the FTC and Intel—knew what principle was at stake: does Intel (and, by implication, any company or any person) have the right to refuse to do business with a given company or person? With Intel’s so-called "strategic surrender," statists have now established the precedent that a company does not have this right.  Intel apparently does not consider its right to property, or its freedom, to be of much importance.

Taking their cue from Republicans, Intel chose the "practical" approach: to compromise—which means: a total surrender on the principle at stake.  In doing so, they have undermined the rights of all of us.

If you do not have the right to voluntarily deal and associate with whomever you wish, you have no rights—and this is precisely the precedent established by Intel’s surrender.  This is the idea statists fought so hard to establish.  And now they are celebrating their profound victory.

According to a March 9, 1999, news report in The Washington Post:   "Last night agency staffers were reveling.  They had one word for pundits who had likened their case to a very complicated and risky three-point basketball shot: ‘Swish’."

This party by FTC staffers was bought and paid for by producers.  These statists were celebrating the fact that their racket has worked for centuries and will continue to work as long as their victims never catch on, as long as producers continue to provide them with the means to rule them.  Statists were reveling over the fact that producers continue to provide the rope for their own hanging--and for yours.

Statists’ chronic fear is that, one day, the producers might catch on and then their scam will come to an end.  My hope is that, one day, some giant of a producer, such as Microsoft, will put an end to compromise and fight for principle, for the right to life and liberty—and, in doing so, help save us all.  I hope that, one day, such a producer will declare that his life, money and property are his.  Once this happens, we will hear a different kind of "swish."  It will be the sound of statists going down the tubes.

Fulton Huxtable
March 9, 1999

Copyright 1999 Fulton Huxtable

 

 

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