Missing the Point

The great French philosopher and politician Frederic Bastiat once said:

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society.  As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude we object to its being done at all.  We disapprove of state education.  Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education.  We object to a state religion.  Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all…It is It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise the grain.

I have seen this very recently in campaign ads regarding Planned Parenthood (the downside to living in a swing state, and the one with first-in-the-nation primaries, is you get bombarded with ads).  “Tell [New Hampshire] Sen. Ayotte to end the war on women!  Stand with Bernie Sanders on Planned Parenthood!” one ad cries.  (The ad is referring to Sen. Ayotte’s effort to defund Planned Parenthood).

We don’t oppose these things because we hate women.  No one is denying anyone their God-given rights.  By defunding Planned Parenthood, no one is denied their right to its services.  The simple matter of fact is just because Jones wants/needs something does not mean Smith is obligated to pay for it, and if Smith objects, s/he is not denying Jones anything.  There is no “war on Jon” because I need to pay for my own car.

Let’s have an honest discussion about these things, but to act like being told you need to pay for your own stuff is somehow a “war on women” is utterly foolish and misses the bigger point of the objections.

2 thoughts on “Missing the Point

  1. You don’t have to be a Socialist to think that supporting Planned Parenthood will save taxpayers more than it costs them. Few things cost taxpayers more in the long run than unwanted pregnancies. Maybe the more appropriate Bastiat reference here is to the seen and the unseen.


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