The Secret of Left's Success: Speaking Power to Truth
I think this explains why left wing talk radio is such a failure. Who wants to be persuaded that he is incapable of making his own decisions? This is analogous to reasoning with someone to abandon his reason. Why not just skip the middleman -- logic, argument, and evidence -- and go straight to the power?
The purpose of political talk is to inform, to inquire, to question, to explain, etc. But leftism needs none of these things. Rather, it needs only power, so all the talk is just so much babbling as a prelude to the real issue: I get to tell you what to do.
We routinely tell three year-olds to use your words! Try that on an angry and entitled three year old in an adult body. With a loaded bazooka.
Thus, the state didn't need to convince anyone that socialized medicine is a good idea. Rather, it just went ahead and enacted it. "You have to pass the bill to find out what's in it" -- which is just an extension of "you have to elect Obama to find out what's in him." Or "Please authorize my use of force, even though I need no such authorization. Rather, I just need someone else to blame for f*cking this up."
"The necessity of large-scale cooperation is what allows nonpolitical processes -- human action -- to learn and evolve. Coercion is the negation of cooperation, and the power to coerce is what keeps politics from learning" (Williamson, emphasis mine).
Take Keynesian economics, for example. Doesn't work, obviously. But it doesn't matter. The state doesn't need to convince anyone that it works. Rather, it only needs to hold a gun to your head and say, "it works, right?"
"Perhaps that seems too strong for you? If so, try the following experiment: Stop paying your taxes, or refuse to send your child to the local government school or government-approved alternative," or "feed the poor in Philadelphia without government permission," etc., "and then see how long it takes for the government to dispatch to your home a team of men with guns to enforce your compliance, seize your property, or put you into a cage."
It reaches into everyone and everybody -- for example, my racket, clinical psychology. Try helping a sexually confused adolescent struggling with homosexual urges. Again, the state didn't need to argue the case; like most everyone else, it has no idea what causes homosexuality. Rather, it will simply strip you of your livelihood if you should dare to get between the state and a potential lifetime Democrat.
"Political power cannot be reasoned with," and after all the intellectual posturing is over, "the philosophy is the same as that of the raptor in Ted Hughes's 'Hawk Roosting,' who proclaims: My manners are tearing off heads.... No arguments assert my right" (ibid.).
Or, in the words of the world's greatest orator, "I won."
Leftists who claim to cherish liberty are not even phonies: "The IRS" -- i.e., the teeth of the state raptor -- "has three times as many employees as the FBI, a much larger budget, and investigative powers" that dwarf any other agency.
"Imagine being asked to submit an annual statement to the Pentagon or CIA detailing your employment situation, living conditions, marital status, banking information, major financial transactions, net worth, travel records, etc."
You don't argue with the raptor, you just feed it: "Failure to pay taxes is routinely punished with sentences much more severe than those given for serious violent crimes such as armed robbery -- which is ironic, given the extent to which taxation itself resembles armed robbery: a man with a gun demanding money" (ibid).
Conservative classical liberals want less of all this state power, so as to have more genuine power over ourselves, i.e., self-rule. But in order to make the case, we are reduced to using the power of speech.
Yes, the truth sets us free. Which the IRS knows full well, hence its attempt to tear off the head of the Tea Party. It's what raptors do.