It has become something of an accepted maxim that income inequality is an evil or injustice. What’s more, it is equally accepted that those on the low end of the income inequality re somehow victims who bear no responsibility in their economic situation. Now, set aside the fact that these notions are decidedly Marxist in their perspective and, as such, suffers from all the internal fallacies as Marxism. Just, for the sake of argument, let’s accept the assertion that income inequality is an evil totally outside the control of those whom it affects. Let’s look at what this means in terms of the Marxist solution of wealth redistribution. But first, let’s accept a simple assumption: that whoever feeds you is the person who controls you. This is simple human nature, for, without food, you cannot sustain your life. So, if you rely on someone other than yourself to sustain your life, that person effectively rules over and owns your life. Now, let’s look at how redistribution of wealth is connected to this assumption.
This is actually an easier point to make than many try to make it seem. We need look at little more than the information presented in this story:
Read the details in this story. It accounts for the usual objection, “Well, those figures don’t account for all the taxes people pay if they work, or when they buy stuff.” The simple truth is that the majority of Americans now receive more money from the government than they pay into it. So where does the government get that money? Well, they print a lot of it, and that is direct theft from everyone who uses the dollar. But the majority comes from those who actually pay taxes. This is a fact. It doesn’t matter how they acquired their money, or whether or not they got it ‘fairly.’ All that matters is that the government is taking from 20% of the nation to feed the other 80%.
Now, if the government is taking the money it needs to feed 80% of the people from 20% of the people, do you really think that 20% has no control over the government? The government is not stupid; it knows that, if that 20% stops working, the government will collapse under the civil unrest that will follow when there is no more money to feed the people. So this gives power over the government to those 20% who are paying the bills. This is the source of the Leftist argument that big business and the rich rule society. The truth is, they do, because the same money the government takes to pay off the people and keep certain Parties in control of the government also controls that Party – to an extent. It is nothing more than ‘the rich’ feeding both the masses and the government. And if the rich ‘feeds’ the government, it controls the government. But if the government is feeding the masses, then the government controls the masses.
What happens next is the government tries to wrest some control from its masters by playing the force of the masses against those masters. The government controls most the social institutions which are used to shape and direct public opinion, so it can focus the anger of the people on ‘the rich,’ thus creating the perception that the government is ‘protecting’ the people who feed it. But if the government pushes too hard, ‘the rich’ can still bring it in check by threatening to starve it. And this is the point: in the end, whoever feeds you controls you – period. And look at the real losers in this struggle: the people claiming to be the ‘oppressed’ masses. No matter which way this struggle turns, 80% of the people have made themselves dependent upon someone other than themselves to feed themselves. So that 80% has accepted slavery – period. It’s just human nature, and the government and ‘the rich’ know it. They are exploiting it to maintain their power and prestige. This is why Frederis Bastiat said:
“The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”
Bastiat was correct, but the answer to this vicious cycle is contained in his words. What do you need to do to be free? You need to make sure you are the source of your own food. It is that simple. And the only way you can do that is to be responsible for yourself, to be self-sufficient. And the government and ‘the rich’ know it. This is why they both work so hard to convince you that you can’t do things for yourself:
These slave masters want to keep you on their plantation, but they know that – at least in our society – they can’t do so through brute force (yet). So they have to convince you to become their slave of your own free will. They need you to make yourself dependent on them for your food. They need you to accept their lies. And that is because they know that, if you reject them and start doing for yourself, they no longer have any control over you accept brute force – and they have not yet been able to confiscate your weapons, so they know that might not work. This also applies to ‘the rich.’ If we stop working for their big corporations and we start our own small businesses and do our business with those local shops – even if it cost a little more – then the major corporations will starve. And if their slaves in the government have already lost their control over you, then ‘the rich’ will have no way to control you, either. And that is where Natural Law shines through.
Natural Law is designed so that we are all responsible for ourselves. Yes, we have duties to others, especially families, but we do not have a Natural Right to demand anyone else do anything for us – including feeding us. That is the work of charity, and charity must be voluntary; it cannot be forced or it ceases to be charity. So, when Natural Law rules, people take responsibility for themselves. They feed themselves. And this provides a natural insulation against tyranny: because you depend on no one other than yourself and God to feed you. It is this simple.