Laurene Powell Jobs (a mega-donor for left-wing candidates and causes), speaking of her late husband Steve Jobs on what he would think of today’s sociopolitical decine in America.
“He loved the idea of America. He loved what it allowed the individual and the communities to become,” she continued. “He loved the unfetteredness of it.”
“He loved the personal freedoms and liberties, but also the connectedness and responsibility for each other.”
Wow. There’s a mouthful of contradictions in two sentences.
How do you reconcile “unfetteredness” and some form of individualism with responsibility for each other?
By “responsibility for each other” you can be sure she means: unchosen responsibility. In other words, that you are responsible for your neighbor even if you don’t know him — or care about him; or even if he’s nasty, rude or overtly harmful to your interests.
Somehow, we’re to believe that the basic premise of socialism — unchosen responsibility toward anyone and everyone — can and should be reconciled with unfettered choice over one’s own life and destiny, so long as one leaves others alone to do the same.
Steve Jobs probably did hold this contradiction. It probably explains why he supported both Obama and conservative Republican candidates.
Jobs did not live to see the contradiction explode.
Trying to reconcile unfettered individualism and freedom with unchosen obligations toward your fellow man (aside from simply leaving them alone) is like a kidnapper telling his hostage, “You’re free to walk around. You’re free to eat when I let you eat. You’re free to talk when I want you to talk.” This isn’t freedom.
For a time — and Steve Jobs lived during the tail end of this time — people can get away with pretending that they’re having it both ways. “I live for others; but I also live for myself.” There comes a time, however, when one idea or the other has to take over. You cannot reconcile a circle and a square forever. To use Aristotle’s lanaguage, you cannot pretend that “A” is both “A” and “non-A” at the same time … not forever.
Jobs’ widow has lived to see the day when the contradiction is over. The people who claim that you and I (not themselves, but you and I) are obliged to live solely for the sake of others and enjoy NO freedom, other than the pseudo-freedom a kidnapper grants (on occasion) to his captive, are now in charge. And they are not letting up.
The only way to fight back? Tell our captors that they have no MORAL right to enslave us; they have no MORAL right to hold us captive. They may get away with it; they might even succeed in killing us, if we cannot effectively find an escape in time. But morally, they always were in the wrong, and always will be.
Most of us won’t do that. Most of us cling to the hope that we can return to the contradiction, of having it both ways. “I live for myself. It’s America. I am free. I am self-determining and sovereign over my life.” And then to turn around and say, “Well, I have to pay for a stranger’s college tuition. And health care. And for the entire, lifetime cradle-to-grave livelihood of every inhabitant of the planet now swarming our country since there are no more borders. I must do these things. Otherwise, it means I’m a bad person.”
That’s where the Communists, fascists and all the totalitarians (past, present and future) have got you.
You can’t have it both ways. It’s either your life, or it isn’t.
The people occupying our government and shredding our Constitution while laughing about it understand this fully.
It’s time for you and I to do the same.
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