Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Reading is Fundamental

By now, everyone knows about the house in Tennessee that burned to the ground because the owners did not pay the fire protection fee. So while Rome burned, the firemen stood helpless - ordered not to put out the fire over an unpaid $75 municipal charge.

This is Ayn Rand on steroids - every John Galt for himself. Darwinian psychology in overdrive - survival of the fittest (or rather the richest and most well-connected). Government a la carte. Public services that are hated so much that everything is turned into a private enterprise - even at the expense of a normal society.

We could argue the merits of a large and sprawling public works - managed by a large and sprawling bureaucracy. We can also argue the problems and pitfalls of the nanny state and an over-reaching legislature.

What we can't argue is that the underlying premise of government is to keep order,civility and provide for a safe and secure country. That safety and security is not limited to fighting useless wars and preventing those nasty turrorists from flattening buildings. It also includes the simple things like putting out fires and protecting citizens with adequate public health.

You want a private fire department that only serves if you pay? How do you plan on stopping a fire from spreading from your neighbor who didn't feel like pay their fee. You want health care only if you can afford it? How do you plan on protecting yourself from people walking around with communicable diseases like tuberculosis and influenza - spreading them like the bubonic plague to those who do have health insurance.

Certain basic needs shouldn't even be questioned. But the angry mobs of the right have taken Ayn Rand to the extreme - that government is good for nothing, that the individual rules, that it really is every teabagger for himself. Problem is even  - the ultra-Rand mentality is only a a facade to what is really happening - what realy runs the show on the right are corporations and puppet masters like the Koch Brothers who use their incredible wealth (since they don't use it to invest or create jobs) to keep the status quo working for them. All the time they are deluding the teabag crowd into thinking this concept of rugged individualism and the Marlboro man is going to make them the next billionaire.  Good luck.

There is nothing like a good book to cuddle up when your house is burning down.  For your reading pleasure:

Maybe he teabaggers and Christian Fundamentalists can use those unattended house fires that will burn out of control for one of their other purposes - burning the books they so want to eliminate.

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