Milton Friedman: Socialism is Force (plus my little rant on ‘The Golden Rule’)

I have ‘for ever’ argued that ‘the golden rule’ of ‘do onto others as you would have them do onto you’ is not just wrong, but a statement of evil, but I’ve always had difficulty expressing my visceral reaction to it.

Sure, I could make the accurate, yet humorous, retort:  “If you believe that, then I hope you don’t meet a suicidal masochist…’

In other words, I could explain it on an intellectual level, but I could not explain the depth of revulsion I feel whenever some intelligent person tries to explain that I am misunderstanding, that ‘the golden rule’ really means you should respect other people.

And, I am sure it does mean exactly that:  you should respect other people.  But how should you respect them?

After all, you can respect a person, but know a particular decision they are making will end very, very badly…

Indeed, ‘respecting a person’ hardly ever means ‘respecting their individual choices’.  Thus, throughout human history, this ‘golden rule’ has been used to impose what somebody thinks is good for others onto them by force, because the people in power respect other people’s ‘well-being’ more their right to choose.

Perhaps it has something to do with having lived in a ‘people’s paradise’, where socialism was imposed on everyone with an iron fist because the revolutionaries in power respected each and every citizen’s right to live in that ‘people’s paradise’, whether those people wanted to or not (and erected big walls to keep us all in – because they respected our right to this privilege, even though we were too stupid to know what was good for us)…

Perhaps it has something to do with my ancestors having had a Crusade led against them because their brand of Christianity was ‘heretical’ and, if all them nice Catholics would have fallen into heresy, they would definitely have wanted someone to care enough about their eternal soul to cleanse it of the body’s sins by burning it alive…

Perhaps it is because I am fully aware that, in the past, Christian priests/preachers instructed husbands to beat their wives – just as the current Islamic clerics urge pious Muslims to do – simply because it is for her own good, a way to help her improve herself

I could go on and on.

If ‘the golden rule’ meant ‘respect other people’s right to make their own choices in life’, that’s what it would have said.  But it does not!!!

To the contrary, it empowers those who consider themselves superior to their peers to impose their will onto others, while believing they are ‘doing good’.

In this video, Milton Friedman explains this so much better than I could ever have, by pointing out that even among evil dictators, the most dangerous, the most destructive – the most evil – were the ones who truly and honestly believed that what they were doing was for the good of their fellow humans!

 

 

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