Thursday, July 26, 2012

Obama: "our union may not be perfect, but it is perfectible"

Speaking to the National Urban League (RealClear Politics has the video), Pres. Obama discussed his time as a community organizer in Chicago:
And I confess the progress didn't come quickly, and it did not come easily. Sometimes it didn't come at all. There were times where I thought about giving up and moving on. But what kept me going day in and day out was the same thing that has sustained the Urban League all these years. The same thing that sustains all of you. And that is the belief that in America, change is always possible. That our union may not be perfect, but it is perfectible. [Emph. added]
To liberals, that quote may sound like noble idealism. To the rest of us, it displays an utter lack of understanding of human nature that, when coming from a world leader, is quite frightening. Humans have human nature which includes both virtues and flaws. Humans respond to incentives in a self-interested way. No amount of government intervention will change that. There will, for example, never be a "perfect" health care system nor a "perfect" welfare system. Any attempt to reach "perfection," that is, any policy which denies the existence of human nature, generally leads to disaster.  An example would be LBJ's "war on poverty" which, by the 1990s, even Democrats had to admit was making things worse. Other examples include Canada's free healthcare or Greece's free spending.

It gets worse.  The biggest tragedies of the 20th century were driven by ideologues who believed in perfectible societies.  Following up on the progressive's beliefs in improving humans through eugenics, the Nazis wanted to remove genetically inferior peoples so that genetically superior man could flourish.  Following up on another side of progressivism, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot wanted to create societies filled with the new improved unselfish Socialist Man.

They say that the perfect is the enemy of the good.  But, that really understates the problem.

PREVIOUSLY on the liberal search for perfection:
Obama: "Kingdom right here on Earth"
Those who pursue perfection cannot tolerate dissent
In a perfectible world, there are no trade-offs
Free health care: The Canadian health care collapse
Canadian official: "the system is imploding"
If "profit" the root of all evil, explain this non-profit

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