By Fay Voshell
The president’s Roanoke speech, the full text of which may be found here, goes beyond mere insult to American entrepreneurs.
Certainly his words are offensive enough to business builders and owners; however, they go beyond mere insult. They go beyond the implication that the collective trumps the individual. They go beyond the trampling of the American dream. They even go beyond a direct attack on personal achievement and the fluid hierarchy that have characterized the American middle class.Continue below.
His core message, combined with other red-light indicators of a radically leftist political philosophy which includes wealth redistribution, is the message of the almighty and sovereign State:
“We own you.”
Without the State, you are nothing. All your abilities, your intellect, your individuality, your work, your dreams, and the fruits of your labor would never happen without the federal government. Where would you be without us? We allowed you, along with the rest of the amorphous and indistinguishable masses constituting the collective, to thrive.
You owe everything to the State.
What you eat, where you sleep, and how you earn your daily bread are because of the State’s munificence. Everything is a gift to you from the State, in which you live and move and have your being.
Do you really think you as a mere individual built and therefore own your business? Do you think you are entitled to “your” profits? We built the infrastructure that supports your endeavor; therefore, we can tax you as we please. Your initiative and hard work are merely part of the entire labor pool, a small slice of the community of others.
Add to the not so subliminal message of the Roanoke speech an even more important message: courtesy of ObamaCare, the State owns your conscience.
Does your church think it owns its faith-based institutions — schools, hospitals, soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless? Does it feel it should decide the philosophical and ethical structure of its institutions without interference from the state? Are your church and its para-church organizations and institutions protected by the First Amendment?
Thanks to the ObamaCare mandate that overrules the ethical structure of all private institutions, they are the State’s to rule as it sees fit. Your conscience and your God do not matter. We can overrule your conscientious objections concerning matters like providing abortifacients to your employees and tax you out of existence if you don’t obey our mandates. (For the excessively punitive measures to be taken against non-conforming religious institutions, see Bridget Johnson’s excellent article on the subject, found here.)
In brief, you, dear individual American, are nothing. Your businesses, your churches, and your organizations are nothing. The State is everything. The State rules.
It has been a while since the antique philosophy of the absolute divine right of kings and/or the State has been posited as a positive good. It’s been a long time since Thomas Hobbes‘ argument that an absolute sovereign state could cure the innate tendency toward individualistic selfishness of human beings has been put forth.
While Louis XIV may have loved the idea, certainly the arguments for a sovereign state and ruler have had no place in America, land of the free and home of the brave.
For in the current administration’s words and actions, we are seeing a trend that portends the complete inversion of the relationship of the American government and the individual citizen as outlined by its foundational documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. We are being told that the individual owes his existence to the State instead of the State owing its existence to the people.
The claims and actions of our current administration and its radically left allies are nothing new, but they have been a constant of history. The justifications for state control by omniscient elite have been the same for millennia. Egotistical rulers, reinforced by powerful bureaucracies and armies of the governments they control, are all clones, be they dead and in the antique past or living in the here and now. In fact, what we are seeing is a potential return to the governmental standards of antiquity. The neo-Assyrian, statist impulses that harassed the entire twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, be they pale imitators of fascism, communism, or any other “ism” which favors the almighty State, currently are rising right here in America.