Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis.) A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)
Check this out. This appeared around the time of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.
This is in response to Thatcher’s statement that “there’s no such thing as society.” So these progressives are going to show her!
Naturally, they interpret her perfectly defensible statement in the most inane and uncharitable way possible. Why, we’ll show her there really is society by helping our fellow man!
But that was exactly her point. There is no such thing as an abstract, disembodied blob called “society.” All that exists are individuals, and it is up to those individuals — not “society” — to perform the great works of charity and civilization.
Her actual words: “There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”
Now go back and read the juvenile statement in that box above. Every one of those statements is a reflection of what Thatcher actually said, yet the progressives who drafted it seriously think they are letting her have it. Not even an effort to understand the people they oppose. They actually seem to think she meant, “It’s every man 4 himself!! Don’t help anyone!!! KEEP ALL UR STUFF FOR URSELF!!!!”
Just beneath the surface here, and the source of much “progressive” confusion, is the failure to distinguish between society (a shorthand term for the individuals of whom the polity is composed) and the state. No, we don’t think people should be exploited by guys with guns, even if 10% of the exploitation is laughingly portrayed as helping the poor. That doesn’t mean we’re “atomistic individuals” who despise mankind. The state’s thuggish behavior is at odds with society.
(Thanks to this post for the inspiration.)