“The law of unintended consequences”.
The term was popularized in the twentieth century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton.
In plain English, it means: When you treat something or someone in a way that goes against his/her/its nature/programming, you get a very different result from what’s expected. Often a very bad one.
When you treat a person who’s dishonest as if he or she is honest, then you get a different result from what you expect.
Consider liars. People who lie to themselves are the worst liars of all. They spin and create narratives with themselves as the victim, for example, when in fact they are the victimizers more often than they are the victim.
If you treat a dishonest person like he’s honest, then you expect him — when confronted — to feel shame, humiliation, regret or something that will somehow get him to become honest. But that’s not the case. You cannot encounter someone whose values or programming are totally different from your own, and expect them to respond like you respond. They’re not the same person as you!
On the social level, the law of unintended consequences comes out every time people support a social program that doesn’t work out the way it’s supposed to. In the extreme case it’s socialism or Communism. That’s where we are in America now, at that extreme point where almost half of the population appears ready to take all-out socialism (i.e., dictatorship) as the best option.
But even with the less extreme examples, we have case after case of failure. We give people free old-age health insurance and what happens? Medical care becomes dysfunctional and the program (Medicare) is going bankrupt. Ditto for Medicaid and Obamacare, which merely extended Medicaid, thereby making its bankruptcy more inevitable. Hence the call nowadays for “Medicare for All”. Just wait until you see how morally and fiscally bankrupt THAT program will be! Just ask Venezuelans, Cubans or survivors of the Soviet Russia system.
Other examples of failed social policies with unintended consequences: Social Security. It’s bankrupt just like Medicare. And it’s unsustainable. Congress raids its “fund” regularly to reward donors. People would have made thousands more in the stock market over the last 80 years, even with its ups and downs, than the pittance they receive from the government – a pittance compared to what private investment would have generated. It’s pitiful that so many people think this program is a good thing!
The War on Poverty. The poverty rate was steadily declining in America UNTIL the War on Poverty began in the 1960s. Since then, the middle and upper classes have become progressively wealthier, but the poor have stayed poor, because welfare, food stamps and Medicaid (along with the resulting out-of-wedlock pregnancies) have made them permanent wards of the government. You want to talk racism? The War on Poverty is a form of racism worthy of the KKK itself.
The War on Drugs. Can anyone say with a straight face that the War on Drugs has done ANYTHING AT ALL to reduce drug use? If we didn’t know better, we’d have to conclude it has made drug consumption worse.
Other than restraining criminals and tyrants, which doesn’t always lead to success, either, the government fails decisively at everything it does and ruins everything it touches. Most Americans concede this point willingly, even cynically. Yet more and more respond by saying, “We need unlimited government”. Because that’s what socialism is, and that’s why they’re voting more and more for people like Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Sanders. The Democratic Party – one of our two major parties, the absolute majority party in half the country – is now 100 percent socialist. Ninety percent tax rates and all. We are literally one presidential election away from a socialist dictatorship. Even if President Trump wins in 2020, we have to worry about 2022, 2024, and beyond. These leftists mean business, have the long view and will never give up.
The root problem, in all honesty? People are stupid. But they’re stupid because they’re ignorant. And what they want is totally contradictory. Somebody has to tell them they’re stupid. No, they don’t have to listen and probably won’t. But we’ve got to stop pretending most of us are wise and smart, because most of us are NOT!
Take Medicare and Medicaid. People who supported these programs didn’t want all-out socialized medicine. They wanted a partially socialized program, just for the elderly. That was the argument back in 1965. Rational thinkers, at the time, predicted it would all fail and inevitably lead to what is has actually led to — calls for totally socialized medicine. It’s in part, at least, the law of unintended consequences.
The law of unintended consequences is an innocent mistake. It’s a mistake of honest ignorance. The corrupt dictators and career politicians we have given all this power to are not innocent. They are greedy, rights-violating, dictatorial exploiters of people. They’re getting exactly what they intend. I’m talking about the millions of ignorant people who get manipulated by these dictators. They’re the ones who say in polls, “Sure, I support socialism and will vote for an openly socialist candidate. Ocasio-Cortez is cool. I’m feeling the Bern, for sure! But I don’t want the government in charge of everything, and I don’t want the government to run my life.”
Hello!? You can’t put a person OR a group of persons (i.e., a government ) in charge of EVERYTHING and then say you don’t want your life to be controlled. It does not work that way! Stop being stupid!
One of the most idiotic memes I saw recently on Facebook said, “We don’t want handouts. We just want to be happy”. It’s the snowflake view that “I want socialist policies — I want free college, I want free health care, I want free everything — but I don’t want to call it socialism”.
The law of unintended consequences has reached a point where it’s no longer innocent to deny the intentions of people who wish to exploit and control us. If you’re really prepared to let others control every aspect of your life, in exchange for paying for everything, then go for it. But don’t expect millions of your fellow citizens NOT to resist with everything they’ve got. Because it’s going to happen. If you think resistance to President Trump is resistance, you haven’t seen resistance should the socialist Democrats take charge of everything, and ruin society like they’re currently ruining California. I am still convinced that millions of us will fight to hold onto the liberty we still have, if not demand its full restoration in the process.
Facts do not care about your intentions. In the age of personal unaccountability, snowflakery and socialism, that’s the thing more people have to remember.
Stop being stupid, America. It will be the death of you.
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