Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Man Who Gets It (Salim, Not Jack)

Salim Mansur unpacks a central organizing principle that the late Jack Layton (peace be upon him) could never grasp:
The constraints, as state-engineered regulations, are put in place always in the name of some good, yet the effect, intended or not, is diminution of individual freedom.
Whenever freedom based on individual rights is traded for some other good for advancing equality, fairness or some other politically correct state-directed policy, such as multiculturalism, it paradoxically enhances the power of the state over individuals.
The cumulative enhancement of state power and diminution of individual freedom eventually leads to turning an open society into a closed one. This process, as it advances, represents the decay of an open and free society.
F.A. Hayek called it The Road to Serfdom; Jack Layton, on the other hand, called it progress.

Update: Another man who gets it--Mark Steyn--writes:
As I point out in my book, in the last six decades the size of America's state and local government workforce has increased over three times faster than the general population. Yet Obama says it's still not enough: The bureaucracy needs even more of our manpower. Up north, Canada is currently undergoing a festival of mawkish sub-Princess Di grief-feasting over the death from cancer of the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Jack Layton's career is most instructive. He came from a family of successful piano manufacturers – in 1887 H A Layton was presented with a prize for tuning by Queen Victoria's daughter. But by the time Jack came along the family's private-sector wealth-creation gene had been pretty much tuned out for good: He was a career politician, so is his wife, and his son. They're giving him a state funeral because being chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative is apparently more admirable than being chairman of Layton Bros Pianos Ltd.
Indeed. But the real reason he's getting a state funeral, as Steyn well knows, is that Stephen Harper knew that if didn't agree to one he'd be pegged (and pilloried) as the Queen, with Layton taking on the role of the suddenly dead Diana.

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