29 Jan 2020
“If we lived in a State where virtue were profitable, common sense would make us ‘good,’ and greed would make us ‘saints.’ And, we’d live like animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice, and thought, we have to choose, to be human at all.
We must stand-fast sometimes, even at the risk of being heroes.”
Sir Thomas More (played by Paul Scofield), from the 1966 film version of Robert Bolt’s book, “A Man for All Seasons”
In a state where “secrets of the heart,” or “thought crimes” were in force, that state could arrest you and eventually cut your head off, for “thinking non-government-approved thoughts”
Our Founders wisely rejected that dangerous path!
In our civilization, “crimes” are defined in statute as specific acts. All else, you are free to do, and “secrets of your heart” remain so!
Refrain from committing crimes, and the state will leave you alone.
At least, that’s the theory of it!
For example, in our civilization, “bigotry” while opposed by “public policy,” is still not a “crime.”
“That man is a bigot” may not represent a complement in most quarters, but “being a bigot” is not a crime! As an American, I can “be a bigot” when I so choose, and still walk about safely.
The reason is elementary, and should be obvious to all:
The term “bigotry” is too vague and too subject to wide variations in interpretation to find a legitimate place in Law.
You can make the same persuasive case against terms like, “racist,” “sexist,” and “abuser of power!”
It would require an all-powerful “Ministry of Truth” to “interpret” such ambiguous terms, and with history to guide us, we can confidently predict the Ministry’s “definitions” will be even more vague, puzzling, and evasive than the original, undefined term!
As Ayn Rand reminds us,
“No discussion, cooperation, agreement, nor understanding is possible among men who substitute emotion for proof.”
This is why “crimes” are (usually) carefully defined, and require a specific act!
The accusation, “That man is a criminal,” should invoke the response:
“What crime has he committed? What law has he violated?”
When the response is silence, that man must go his way in peace, his rights of citizenship unmolested!
Unfortunately, leftists, who love personal power more than they love this country, when in power dishonestly alter the “Law” in order to create a way of punishing non-supporters, and particularly those who speak-out against them. They have done so for as long as any of us can remember.
To do this, the left perverts our legal system by turning thoughts into crimes, so that “racists,” “bigots,” and “abjures of power” can be herded into gulags, and quietly disposed of. This is exactly what Elizabeth Warren is currently proposing, with a straight face!
Interpretations of “thought crimes” can easily, conveniently be altered to fit the circumstances!
Thus when the state, under leftist control, tries to “help” a certain class of citizens, which it likes more than all other citizens, results are just as ruinous (to the individual and the nation) as when the state actively persecutes a certain class of citizens, a class which it dislikes more than the rest.
Such professed “assistance,” to some, and punishments to others (like taking all your guns away, without you ever being so much as accused of a crime), are always marketed to a naive public with cries of moral superiority, and predictions of “Armageddon” if they don’t become the Law of the Land.
How many times must we explode this evil, socialist/Communist falsehood?
Self-professed “liberals” want to retain the glory of capitalism, while vilifying, then punishing, capitalists.
Worse yet, they flirt with socialism/Communism, naively thinking predictable ruinous results (ecumenical squalor, poverty, slavery) can be somehow avoided.
“The Law is not a ‘light’ for you, nor any man, to see by.
The Law is not an ‘instrument’ of any kind.
The Law is a causeway upon which, so long as he keeps to it, a citizen may walk safely.”
Thomas More, again