Robin Hood Defamed Again
by L. Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s
The Libertarian Enterprise
It says here a Canadian outfit called “Adbusters” is persuading its fellow parasites in the “Occupy” camps to demand the creation of a “Robin Hood Tax”, to be levied on and collected from, er … Western Civilization.
To give you an idea of who and what these creatures are, they generate print ads and TV spots, full of cute catchphrases and the usual lies and distortions, attacking industrial capitalism, with an emphasis (shades of Thorstein Veblen!) on their bitter hatred for something they call “consumerism”, which can roughly be defined as the heinous act of buying and enjoying something they dislike and don’t approve of—except of course, if you do, they want a piece of the action.
Despite the longtime left-wing bias of the mass media, apparently nobody—newspapers, magazines, TV and radio networks—wants to run Adbusters’ stuff. The group’s response is to sue these institutions, although the only place they haven’t been thrown summarily out of court is Canada—Moscow on the Northwest Passage—where the light of the First Amendment was blocked out in 1815, and hasn’t shone there since. Oh, and I forgot: it says here that CNN has aired some of their stuff. It figures. Or maybe they just didn’t want their cars pooped on.
As nearly as I understand it, if you were to buy bubblegum trading cards featuring ball players, Playboy bunnies, or scenes from Mars Attacks, that would be bad. But if they featured pictures of Paul Erlich, Al Gore, or Ted Kaczynski, that would be all right. Or Rachel Carson, who killed more people than the Unabomber ever dreamed of killing.
Disgusted and repelled by greed (i.e., the unforgivably human willingness to work hard to make a better life for yourself and for your children), they want to make a fresh start for the human race, a fresh start much like the fresh starts represented by their fellow socialists Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedung, and Pol Pot.
Yes, Virginia, Hitler was a socialist.
Socialism is not the deep metaphysical philosophy it pretends to be; that part, socialists stole from Hegel. Socialism is not the warm, fuzzy ethical philosophy it pretends to be; that part, socialists like to claim they stole from Auguste Comte, but actually stole from Attila the Hun; Socialism is not the noble, liberating political philosophy it pretends to be; that part, socialists stole from Savonarola and Robespierre.
Or Boss Tweed on PCP.
Once you boil away all of its high-sounding rationalizations, socialism is only a lame attempt to make stealing appear respectable. That’s all it ever was, all it is now, and all it ever will be. The dismal fact that it has succeeded in taking in billions of gullible cretins over the past ten generations—the same kind of cretins who devoutly believe the Gospel of Global Warming—tells us more about a majority of our fellow human beings than we ever really wanted to know.
The essential doctrine of socialism, its very definition, is that the wishes, hopes, fears, and above all, the rights of the individual, in any and all cases, are less important than whatever the wishes, hopes, fears, and above all, the rights of the group may be. Indeed, the individual has no rights; only society has rights, hence the name, socialism.
Socialism pops up in some funny places. When the City Fathers—Democrat or Republican—steal your home or business to widen a road or build a park, or simply to give it to some other business that will probably pay higher taxes, that’s socialism. When the city, county, state, or federal governments steal money from you, to wage insane wars or finance the violation of your other rights, that’s socialism, too.
They’re saying that the “good of society”—and, of course, they get to define what “the good” consists of—outweighs any claim that you may have to whatever it is you have earned or possess. That’s socialism. This is a socialist country and it always has been. Exactly like every other nation-state that has ever existed—or likely ever will—it’s a kleptocracy, a culture based on theft. Only they call it “paying your fair share”—and they get to define what that is, too.
Naturally, everybody is equal after the Revolution—except some special leaders who have special needs: offices, limousines, palaces, private aircraft, country retreats, servants of various kinds. Here we call them “fat-cats”; the Glorious People’s Republics called them the nomenklatura.
The so-called right, from Dick Cheney and his military-industrial complex though to Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and Pinochet is fully as socialistic as Occupy Obsolescent Ideology. The difference is that the bigwigs have already gotten theirs, many times over, while the plastic proletariat in their protest pup-tents are still looking around for a warm flat spot to attach their sucker-disks before they dig in for a blood meal. Ironically, if America ever fell to a genuine revolution, say like Castro’s (although it really hasn’t had to, has it?), history clearly demonstrates that they and theirs would be the first to the wall.
A word about Robin Hood. The left loves to think that he robbed from the rich and gave the money to the poor. In a way, that’s true, but that’s only half the story, and the least important half, at that. If he’d just been a mugger, he’d probably never have made Marian. In folklore and tradition, Robin Hood stole from tax collectorsand he gave the money back (after a modest recovery fee) to the people who were impoverished because it had been extorted from them. Robin Hood did this, in folklore and tradition, because he himself had been cheated out of his home, his lands, his titles, and his rights, by an evil King (is there any other kind?) and the vile Sheriff Joe of Nottingham.
This is the same King, by the way, who had to be broken by his own knights and forced to sign the first bill of (some) rights, the Magna Carta.
A tax—any tax—in Robin Hood’s name is an obscenity.
I have a better idea, instead. If we’re going to threaten each other using government as a weapon, then I propose a tax on socialism. Any time that anybody espouses some Draconian action on behalf of the People, or for the Greater Good, they have to pay for it in cold, hard cash.
They want to start with a 1 percent tax on rich people—meaning anybody who actually produces some good or service in the free market system.
I propose a 99 percent tax on collectivist assholes.
Do I hear a second?
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