From Each According to Obama's Needs, To Each According to His Desires
First of all, there is no value in the absence of human beings. Because we value -- i.e., desire -- an economy comes into being. Now, desire is based upon a lack -- or perceived lack -- of some object, power, or state of being. A person who wants nothing engages in no economic activity.
It is through spontaneously trading with one another that aggregate value increases -- just as if something has been created from nothing. Note that this cannot occur if a central authority tries to undertake the fanciful project of determining peoples "needs," then providing for them.
"To each according to his need, from each according to his ability" is a recipe for stasis and impoverishment. For one thing, people do not value what is given to them, with the result that what they are given diminishes in value. What one is "entitled to" becomes simultaneously priceless and valueless, like soundwaves or gravity.
But there is also no increase in value without rules for gettin' it. This is why war and plunder do not result in increased value -- because they satisfy desire by simply appropriating value created by someone else, in a zero-sum game.
Our tea party-hearty founders were acutely aware of the long history of governments sustaining themselves in this manner through the power to tax -- which, in the wrong hands, is simply the power to get what one wants without having to undergo the formality of working for it.
Thus, the statist works a kind of counter-magic, in that he too gets -- but does not create -- "something from nothing" by purloining the slack of others. Instead of recognizing the market as the great generator of value, he uses it as a means to his own private ends -- for example, Obama's personal desire to provide healthcare to illegal aliens and to people who want to use their own scarce resources to satisfy other desires.
The latter may be stupid -- eg. omnipotent adultolescents who don't believe they'll ever get sick -- but why is this Obama's problem, much less mine? Unfortunately, the only way for an adultolescent to grow up is to learn the unyielding ways of the world. Shielded from these ways, he can stay a liberal forever.
Which I suppose is the point. Obama's ruling desire -- and the desire of the left in general -- is to see his ideology enacted into law and backed by the force of the state. This is a stance to which the believer in representative democracy can have no fundamental objection, for it is simply a case of the people getting what they deserve.
The problem is that the left uses democracy in order to put profoundly undemocratic policies into place -- similar to the "one man, one vote, one time" rule of pseudo-democratic tyrants.
After all, no living person ever voted for Social Security, and none of us have a say in various other leftist desires that have become our perpetual obligations, i.e., public employee unions, agricultural subsidies, state-run arts and media, the state education/indoctrination monopoly -- really, all of the countless extra-Constitutional activities of the federal government, which, once in place, are beyond the reach of citizens to eliminate.
The end result of leftist polices is the institutionalization of their desires, in a one way flow between citizens and statists. Yes, there is of course some incidental flow of value back to the citizenry, but usually much less than what was extracted from us. Few people deny that the citizenry gets good value from the legitimate activities of the state, e.g., police, military, public health, and, to a lesser extent, the judicial system.
Unfortunately, the latter has been systematically corrupted by leftist desire over the past fifty years, so it no longer provides the value it once did. A judge was once a figure of respect instead of likely ridicule, e.g., Sotomayor, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Kagan, O'Connor, Souter, and the rest of those dingbat tools of the left.
But this is no different from what Democrats have attempted to do to the judiciary from the very beginning of the country. Hamilton foresaw this in Federalist 78 -- that the judiciary was the weakest branch of government, and the most susceptible to populist and demagogic mischief. Slavery and Jim Crow were kept in place by Democrat presidents appointing Supreme Court justices who codified the desires of racists, just as today the institutional racism of the left undermines black progress.
The problem is that, while the Supreme Court is a coequal branch of government, it has no power except for the appeal to intrinsic rightness and truth. It has neither the executive sword to compel nor the legislative cash to bribe and seduce. Rather, the judiciary is there to protect us from these lesser forms of power through an appeal to truth and rightness only.
But what if people do not value truth and decency? Then truth has no voice in the judiciary, and your little experiment in representative democracy is over.
Note that when law is reduced to desire, we might as well concede that the game is lost. For there can be no compromise between what the Constitution says and what the left wishes for it to say. The latter is no longer the rule of law but the tyranny of unrestrained desire.
What is the origin of the rule of law? If we consider it only as the formality of arbitrary custom or "collective desire," we will eventually go off the rails, because customs and desires naturally change.
This is the whole basis of the left's argument that the Constitution doesn't really mean what it says, and even if it did, we don't have to pay attention to it, since today our desires are different. For example, we want the word "marriage" to no longer refer to the union of man and woman. Reality must bend to our desires.
Note the deep hypocrisy, for a liberal would never say this of laws he supports, such as the "right" to abortion, or the new constitutional "right to healthcare" discovered by Pelosi, Reid, and Obama. Likewise, don't even think about tampering with Social Security, for that is a sacred right of man!
This whole tyrannical enterprise is upside down, for the left has to undermine our legal foundation in order to compel us to build their beautiful penthouse on top. Through this sinister pettifoggery, our constitutional rights are transformed into unconstitutional obligations. Forever.
In real life, we cannot rely upon either the state or our fellow citizens to do right by us. Or, we can rely on them to the extent that they are bound by the rule of law. But the local rule of law is of no abiding value unless it is rooted in the nonlocal MetaLaw. Not for nothing does our Supreme Court building have a marble frieze of Moses the Lawgiver.
The Law behind the law is misleadingly referred to as "natural," but I would prefer to call it either the MetaLaw or perhaps the Cosmic Law, i.e., those laws that are authorized and handed down by our Creator.
For only if there is a Creator can there be any universally applicable law. Otherwise we are ruled by custom, opinion and convenience, which in the end devolves to power, not truth.
Truth subordinated to power ends in Crucifixion. Conversely, power subordinated to Truth is Resurrection.
So here is my desire: let us rededicate ourselves to the unfinished work for which our vertically living predecessors fought and died herebelow. Let us never, ever allow their selfless defense of our noble ideals to have been in vain. For if we permit this to happen, then government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall have perished from this bitter earth.