Recently I was speaking with a coworker about the proper role of government in relation to the Individual. I made what I thought was an unanswerable argument: Who knows better how to spend your money, you or a politician living thousands of miles away? Liberalism is merely Parasites and Tyrants Robbing Free Men.
This coworker seems like a genuinely nice man and of above-average intelligence, so -- despite past experience -- I was caught off-guard by his reply. His answer was: "I'm a humanist. I believe in the goodness of people."
I prefer that tyrants and those who serve them be honest about their lust for power and their contempt for others, but he seems sincere. He might want to believe that he's come to a well-founded position, but I know he hasn't, and here's how:
Nevermind that Thomas Jefferson warned, "Let no more be heard of confidence in Man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution" (apparently, power corrupts only Conservatives). If this man really believes that innate human goodness permits sacrificing essential Liberty for a little temporary safety, then why doesn't he give his whole paycheck to the government and trust that they'll take care of him? Or, if he really believes that politicians can be trusted because of their basic decency -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- then why doesn't he believe that every Individual is capable of making equally rational, moral, and wise decisions? Or does he think that politicians are born just a little bit better than you and me?
(Liberal elitism might be a little closer to the truth.)
Reagan understood this, noting that those who reject God worship the state. (Which applies even to Islam, since it is impossible to reject the living God any more fully than does Muhammad's hellish "religion," which fuses mosque and state.)
Man without God makes men into gods:
We've heard in our century far too much of the sounds of anguish from those who live under totalitarian rule. We've seen too many monuments made not out of marble or stone but out of barbed wire and terror. But from these terrible places have come survivors, witnesses to the triumph of the human spirit over the mystique of state power, prisoners whose spiritual values made them the rulers of their guards. With their survival, they brought us "the secret of the camps," a lesson for our time and for any age: Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.
That's why the Marxist vision of man without God must eventually be seen as an empty and a false faith -- the second oldest in the world -- first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with whispered words of temptation: "Ye shall be as gods." The crisis of the Western world, Whittaker Chambers reminded us, exists to the degree in which it is indifferent to God. "The Western world does not know it," he said about our struggle, "but it already possesses the answer to this problem -- but only provided that its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as communism's faith in man."