How about a justification for slavery?

Last Friday President Obama gave a speech in Virginia where he said, among other things, “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own….If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute blog “Ideas” observed that the underlying meaning of those statements is this:

“There is no such thing as individual achievement or merit. All success is directly due to society’s collective effort as manfested by government. It takes a village—or at least its bureaucrats—to accomplish anything.” (h/t to “Notable & Quotable” in today’s Wall Street Journal)

I remember arguing with ardent young leftists in the days when the communist USSR was still in existence. I would point out that the USSR was a slave-state because it didn’t allow people to leave when and if they wanted. That, I naively thought, was

Nothing is possible without government. Your success is not your own.

pretty fundamental, even to leftists. Wrong. “Those people got a free education at the expense of the government,” I was told. “They can’t just pick up and leave after they’ve had all the benefits that the government gave them!”

Does that argument appeal to you? There are many people for whom it does. In fact, the argument of many Democrat Party members today is that we are in some sense “owned” by our government. Why? Because we would be nothing without what it has given us. Pretty ugly….

In the meantime, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan has even more to say about it HERE.