President Obama has deployed one of the cruelest weapons of mass destitution in America’s current civil war between producers and expropriators. It’s an idea that will destroy the sense of self-worth and the productive capacity of any individual foolish enough to believe it.

In a campaign speech, the president declared that "if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own… I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else… there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."

Obama wasn’t making the obvious and uninteresting observation that almost any enterprise or effort will involve more than one person. Rather, he asserts that "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Obama’s remarks have rightly been denounced as a direct attack on all achievers. Planning to give back your college degree and Nobel Prize, Barack? After all, you didn’t earn them.

Republican Mitt Romney rightly observed that "to say that Steve Jobs didn't build Apple, that Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motor; to say something like that is not just foolishness. It's insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America."

Obama’s remarks might seem to many people so stupid that they will wonder whether the president was simply using sloppy hyperbola in his attempt to downplay Romney’s business career. But hardcore leftists actually delude themselves into believing this "you didn’t build that" nonsense. And Obama and paternalist politicians of his ideological ilk must use this belief as a weapon in their attempt to create a servile population that will depend for its survival on government handouts and entitlements. Specifically, the belief is useful in dealing with the problem of how to keep subservient the producers whose wealth they loot and redistribute.

One way to do this is talk incessantly of "fairness" without defining the word. Keep saying, "Those who produce more should pay their fair share." Of course, under the current punitive system the top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

Another way shut up the producers is to guilt-trip them, to make them ashamed of what they’ve earn through their own efforts. Make them feel that they must justify their wealth by its service to their neighbors, and that it is their duty to sacrifice their own wealth and well-being to serve those neighbors.

An even more insidious way to chain producers is make them think that they didn’t produce their own wealth to begin with, that the individual does not matter, that "society" is what really counts. If individuals can be convinced that the money in their wallets is really not theirs, that they really stole it from others, then they will feel that the armed robber holding a gun to their heads is simply an angel of righteousness.

But this technique only works for a short time. If individuals believe their actions make no difference, their creative spirit and drive will be strangled, they will cease producing, and the paternalists will be left with no victims from whom to steal. Productive individuals of self-esteem must reject Obama’s soul-destroying poison and assert their rights to their own lives, liberty, and property!

For further reading:

*Edward Hudgins, " ObamaCare's War On Personal Responsibility." April 9, 2012.

*Edward Hudgins, " The Servile Citizen ." The New Individualist, Summer, 2009.

*David Kelley, " The Forth Revolution." The New Individualist, Spring, 2009.

*Edward Hudgins, " Al Franken is Responsible for Not Being Responsible ." September 5, 2005.


Edward Hudgins

About The Author:

Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

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