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The pain of self-reliance

It’s now two very loud something-I-read LOLs for me in three days. First there was this, and now this from ABC News, quoted in this piece by Mark Steyn:

At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.

There’s going to be a new, painful era of self-reliance no matter which politicians get to preside over it.

20 comments to The pain of self-reliance

  • …not to mention that ‘self-reliance’ is automatically used as ‘bad’. You can’t make up stuff like that.

  • Laird

    Alisa beat me to it. But I guess if you’re a non-productive government leech forced self-reliance is a pretty scary prospect.

  • I do sympathize with those people, Laird, I really do. I mean, it’s true they are non-productive, but it’s not like all of them are lazy – many of them actually do work, some work hard, and many live under the illusion that their work is, in fact, productive – and some of it actually is, although to a much smaller degree than it could have been in a free market. Some teachers, social workers and others are actually doing good work, and will eventually lose their jobs, and their and their families’ livelihood. And then think of the pensioners who have been taught since childhood to rely on the government when they reach old age. That’s what The System does to people who do not bother to think for themselves – and The System actively discourages them from such thinking in the first place. It really is very sad.

  • …and yes, I know that you don’t share these sentiments, just saying…

  • the other rob

    You make a fair point, Alisa and I too can sympathise, to an extent.

    But lately I’ve been thinking that there’s a poison in “public service” and the longer somebody spends in such a position, the more it changes them. Eventually, it gets to a point where, even when they are being nice and going out of their way to be helpful, they say “the public” like some people say “the homeless”.

  • Indeed, Rob: it’s a feature, not a bug – that’s how The System perpetuates itself.

  • damaged justice

    The more afraid someone is of self-reliance, the more I think they must have no friends.

  • How in the world are the attendees at a “million dollar fundraiser” not self-reliant? How do you scare those people with the specter of self-reliance? And if you can, what does that say about everything wrong with Obama’s view of how America should work?

  • Paul Marks

    There is a false note here – the self reliance versus cooperation idea (a trick the left love to play).

    In reality anti leftists (conservatives, libertarians – call them what you will) tend to help other other people far more than the leftists do. This is not a wild claim – it is a cold hard fact.

    I am not talking about things that can not be measured (such as someone helping out in the garden or whatever, although I have my opinions about that – see later). But, rather about something that can be measured – the percentage of someone’s income that people give to help the poor.

    American “conservatives” tend to give a higher proportion of their income than “liberals” (read “socialists”) do. Indeed Barack Obama (the person speaking at the event) gave virutally nothing of his income to help the poor before he started to run for President – and neither did the man he choose to be candidate for Vice President (Joe Biden). Both of these men see the poor as useful cannon fodder (something to put in a speech – or, in the case of Comrade Barack, to “organize” as a political army), neither cares about individual poor people as HUMAN BEINGS.

    Tools – yes. Objects to use for political power (or to build a new society) – yes. Human beings to make a personal effort for – NO.

    Think about the following…..

    Society has broken down and you are struggleing to survive.

    Who would you rather meet the typical American conservative or the typical leftist?

    Who is going to have the practical to skills to actually make things (such as basic technology) work? Who is going to be able to make things? Who (if things really have totally broken down) is going to have any idea about living off the land?

    And, just as important, who is going to care you? Not SAY he cares – but actually help you (as an individual) if he sees you starving to death (perhaps injured by attackers) at the side of the road?

    The latter point is sometimes not policy related.

    For example, George Walker Bush was a wild spending President (useless) – but his character was good (which is why the endless attacks upon his character failed).

    Who would you rather meet (if things fell apart) – without their guards and support staff, just the indiviudals themselves.

    Barack Obama or George Bush?

    Even some leftists (in the heart of hearts) would say “Bush” – because they know that Barack would not have a clue how to help them (how to work together in mutual cooperation to survive), and WOULD NOT CARE ANYWAY.

    Barack Obama would not see a human being (who he could help – and who he could trade with and so on), he would simply see something he could USE for his own benefit, not trade with (for mutual advantage), but use (and get rid of).

  • Paul Marks

    Turning aside from the hard core Comrades (such as the vile Barack) and corrupt nonentities (such as Biden).To the people that Barack Obama was talking to.

    Some of them are productive (they really are) – they work in the computer world or in the world or entertainment (and entainment is productive – the storyteller is an ancient trade).

    Why do so many rich people give money to the left? Indeed many (most?) billionaries are leftist in their politics – and this goes back well before Barack, for example most billionaries supported John Kerry in 2004 (a man with the then most leftist voting record in the United States Senate – Barack not being a member of the Senate at the time, a couple of years in the Senate being considered more than enough experience to be President of the United States, as long as you are a leftist).

    At the risk of harping on an old theme….

    It is because the general CULTURE of the West has been corrupted.

    Even in the 19th century to be “cultured” came to be seen as including being statist – in believeing that the state should do more.

    And people who have become wealthy (whether by inheritiance – or even by their own efforts) normally like to be seen as cultured……..

    And it is not insincere – after all, the education system is dominated by the left. So the more people study…….

    Rebels of course exist – but the fact that not to be a leftist is to rebel against education and culture, shows just how corrupted the modern world has become.

    It really is this extreme.

    For example, the readership of the “New Yorker” publication is about as elite as one can get. Yet the logical implications of the ideology which influences the articles in the publication is that they (the readership) should be exterminated.

    They do not “get it” (they really do not). Like the readership of the New York Times (the newspaper supported Stalin, Mao, Casto……) did not understand that wealthy, respectable people (them – the readership) should be exterminated according to the logical implications of the doctrines of the articles in the newspaper they supported (supported by buying it).

    It is not a lack of intelligence – it is a sort of blindness.

    Take the example of Steve Jobs.

    Creative, a businessman, and someone who worked his way up from humble origins.

    A conservative?

    Perhaps (in his heart) – but certainly not in his normal comments.

    In the biography of him (which now fills the book stores) he sneers at Fox News (in spite of the mutually benifical relationship between News International and Apple) and expresses support (and the desire to help) the New York Times – a newspaper with wildly anti business and anti creative (its basic layout has not really changed in a century) attitudes.

    Certainly the book is written by the ex head of CNN – but the distortion (if it exists) is not wild.

    For example, Steve Jobs wanted to help Barack Obama understand business (so that he would not be a “one term President”) – the fact (and it is a fact) that Barack’s long term objective is the wipeing out of independent business enterprises did not enter the mind of Mr Jobs (although the evidence for it takes only a little research to find).

    As a cultured and creative person he felt (automatically) that he had to support collectivist politicians – even though he (in some sort of instinctive way) had some strange sense of unease abou the implications of their collectivism.

    But never uneasy enough to actually reseach into exactly what collectivism (“social justice” and so on) actually means.

    Many of the rich and cultured have a casual and careless attitude to politics (they go with the flow around them) that they would never tolerate in their business enterprises – whether those enterprises are computers, films or anything else.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    America was built on the principle of self reliance, was it not?

  • Laird

    Actually, Alisa, when I used the phrase “government leech” I wasn’t referring only to those directly employed by government, but to all who leech off it. Such as welfare recipients, beneficiaries of grants to “the arts” and for worthless “research”, and corporatists whose entire business model relies upon government subsidies (I’m looking at you, Archer-Daniels-Midland, and just about the entire “green” industry). And yes, I do feel sympathy for the pensioners who all their lives have been led to believe that the government would support them in their old age, but in fairness people have been raising the alarm that Social Security and Medicare were unsustainable for long enough that they should have been preparing for the inevitable.

    I’m not worried about teachers; there will always be a need for good ones. Their administrators (“educrats”), however, I care about not in the least. Nor for the drones who churn out endless environmental and other regulations. And to the extent social workers are needed (and there truly is some need) they should be working for private philanthropic organizations, not government (which is always corrupting).

  • And yes, I do feel sympathy for the pensioners who all their lives have been led to believe that the government would support them in their old age…

    I’d change that slightly to read; “… who all their lives have been led to believe that the money they paid to the government out of their wages, including the so-called employers contribution, would be returned as a modest pension.

    Oh yes, we realized it was a Ponzi scheme long ago, and made what other arrangements we could afford*, but the government does keep taking the money from today’s workers, and openly boasts that high immigration rates are there to keep the pyramid growing, so perhaps it could at least keep the scheme going for a few more years yet till I shuffle off this mortal coil.

    *And of course my private pension is heavily taxed and my savings earn negative interest while inflation whittles them down to the price of a cup of tea and a tin of cat food a day.

  • I’m with you, Laird. And I sympathize with Kevin (and the rest of us, who were forced to pay into the scheme).

  • John K


    Bear in mind that the Democrat Party looks after its billionaire backers. Hell, in New York they even get permits to carry guns if they want, which is something the little people have to do without. However, billionaires who take on the Democrat establishment find that they are very vindictive, and the modern state can really make your life a misery, no matter how rich you are. I’m sure the IRS could have found a way to close down Apple, Microsoft or Berkshire Hathaway if their political masters wanted it. Much easier to give Comrade Barack a cheque for a million dollars and continue to enjoy the last days of the American Republic. It was good while it lasted, and we will miss it when it’s gone.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    What scares me is that a politician is telling the truth! Now is the time to play ‘The world turned upside down’!

  • Roue le Jour

    Paul, I’d always assumed Jobs’ political posturing was based on a shrewd assessment of the political inclination of his customer base. All those art people…

  • Paul Marks

    John K (and others) – a lot of good points.

  • Chris Cooper

    Just as long as the US is driven back to self-reliance and not self-sufficiency.

  • Self reliance is very key these days! Need to be self sufficient!

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