Saverin Should Be ‘Grateful,’ Say Nationalists

The nationalists of left and right despise the idea of someone leaving the jurisdiction they themselves belong to in favor of another one; this bit of childishness is a case in point. Roderick Long replies:

If one prison guard beats you twenty times a day while the other guards beat you fifty times a day, then you’ll certainly prefer the first guard to the others – but should you be grateful to him? Or should you jump at the chance to switch to a guard who beats you only ten times a day? All the examples of things for which Saverin “owes” the u.s. are respects in which u.s. laws are less oppressive than the laws of many other countries. Being less oppressed is like being beaten less often.

Gratitude is an appropriate response to receiving a favour or a privilege. Freedom is a right, not a privilege; demanding that people be “grateful” for not having their freedom violated so much is morally obscene. In any case, the freedom that Saverin enjoyed in this country was the result not of the government (which would happily expand to totalitarian dimensions if it could) or of the ruling class (ditto), but of many generations of citizens working to restrain both. So asking Saverin to feel grateful to the government, and surrender his money to it, is like asking a patient to be grateful to a virus because, thanks to inoculations, he doesn’t suffer too badly from it.

Jingoistic, hyper-nationalist rants like Manjoo’s are incompatible with the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Governments owe allegiance to their citizens, not vice versa.

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  • Harry Painter


  • Terry McClain

    “You don’t get smart people without tax dollars.” Lol.

  • Phillip McDaniel

    Liked this so much I shared multiple quotes on my FB page.

  • Maddogandre

    You use the following metaphor:

    “asking Saverin to feel grateful to the government, and surrender his money to it, is like asking a patient to be grateful to a virus because, thanks to inoculations, he doesn’t suffer too badly from it.”

    I completely disagree and challenge that your metaphor is lacking in strength. The government is not a virus- but rather a bum ticker (a semi-functioning heart). Is any patient happy about having a bad heart? Absolutely not- In an ideal situation would not an individual prefer to have a fully functioning and healthy heart- absolutely. In most cases are people not responsbile for the failure of their heart- yes (smoking, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, obiesty). All that being said any rational individual would rather have a bad heart than to be dead.

    Our government is a bad heart and we are responsible for it. However despite how it lacks, it still performs to a degree that enables Americans to enjoy a life style/ opportunities that is not possible in any other country in the world.

    Saverin is an ungrateful man who came from a third world country to enjoy the opportunities only available in America. He utilized our justice system to ensure his wealth and enjoyed the very best in American education- he owes appreication to our country- and what greater way to show this appreciation than to give back a portion of the wealth that is only available to him bc of America.

    A patriotic libertarian.

  • Ryan

    How long have we been told to “love it or leave it?” How many times have we been lectured that if we aren’t happy here then we should just “move somewhere else?” Now that people are actually calling the statists’ bluff, they don’t like it. Could there be a clearer demonstration of the fact that the state sees us as its property?

    Let’s face it: citizenship, passports, visas, travel restrictions, immigration quotas, and deportation are totalitarian institutions. And in addition to that, they’re just damn creepy. A free human being has the right to move about the globe unimpeded and live exactly where he likes, and the idea of being told “no! Stay in your assigned nation-state!” is inconceivably offensive and intolerably tyrannical.

  • Lx

    He is a free man! We should all be but clearly some politicians want to enslave us…

  • Lx

    Sorry but what he has done, he does not owe it to the government. I am an entrepreneur and the gov only gets in my way all the time. It is of no help. If anything, saverin would be worth twice as much (like most Americans who work hard) if it was not for the bureaucrats to get in his way…
    Feel free to give your own money for a crappy education system and all the rest if you want but don’t force him or me to do the same. Thank you!

  • Kralux

    He got his education in Brazil for the most part… Good for him, most likely a good asset and he did not get as brainwashed like most of us…

  • Guest

    “We are responsible for it” is collectivist claptrap.  If I am an activist for Ron Paul but Obama wins am I responsible for Obama winning?  What about NDAA, Patriot Act, unconstitutional wars, etc, are “we” all responsible for these things?  You sound like the house slave who says “Well, at least I can enjoy the living here, it could be so much worse.”

  • chris

    How DARE a slave to the US Government Plantation take his hard earned money and leave!!?!

    We must pass a new law forbidding any other slaves from getting uppity!

  • Anonymous

    If you mean by “opportunities only available in America” that crony capitalism gives an unfair edge to wealthy, connected individuals, then yes, we are a unique place indeed.

  • Jorge Cruz

    I seriously doubt you’re a libertarian. We don’t hold those nationalist views and absolutely abhor the notion that we “owe” something to the estate. I think you are a neocon plant.

  • Anonymous

    ive been told atleast half a million times by liberals, “if you dont like paying for society then move to the libertarian paradise of somalia!!”, what a knee slapper that one his.