Ben Shapiro just had the nicest piece about John Locke’s philosophy. And then at the end he has to ruin it by tacking on bizarre right-wing talking points:
(Sigh.) Fine, let’s take them in turn…
Very likely Shapiro is talking about Blacks, women, LGBTQ, etc. and their alleged demands for special treatment. Because they are not created equal, or something.
(Let’s get real: Shapiro’s statement is basically designed to evoke “what bullshit, why should they get special treatment?” indignation. The evidence Shapiro provides for his claim is “because I said so.”)
But what logical connection is there? Presumably special treatment for these groups is not justified by their superiority, so Shapiro must be talking about inferiority: Those Americans think that Blacks (etc.) were created as inferior.
Really? My impression was that Those Americans think that those groups (on average) are getting a raw deal. Of course, you won’t hear Shapiro dignifying that hypothesis with even a mention.
Alternatively, Shapiro could be pointing at an economic claim: the belief that everyone should get the same amount of wealth regardless of effort. He doesn’t bother to tell us.
Also tough to unravel. It seems we’re expected to ignore ancient and prehistoric governments (was “rights” even a concept then?) and focus instead on the Rousseauian thought-experiments which dominated political thought around Locke’s time. Or…could it be more of a religious claim, that God sides with you and not with the government?
Regardless, do we really think there is anyone in America who thinks people should not have rights, or that governments should feel free to arbitrarily injure, steal, or deceive?
Notice Shapiro’s bait-and-switch from the word “rights” to the word “privileges”. Do Those Americans think the government should be able to take away rights, or just privileges? It’s not an inconsequential question.
Well, yes, now we’re talking! I definitely want a totalitarian government, and there are many Americans just like me.
Again, I’m straining to think of who would want this. Shapiro might have in mind an argument of the form, “well, Those Americans want Socialism, which is guaranteed to lead to dictatorship, therefore Those Americans want dictatorship.”
Ironically, political psychology experts emphasize the strong associations between conservative attitudes and preferences for strong, authoritarian leadership.
What a bunch of crazies! …Wanting to reinstate the divine right of kings. (Which was what Locke rejected, right?)
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