You are herecontent / Love of Liberty and Health Care in America
Love of Liberty and Health Care in America
William Hazlitt, the great 19th Century English essayist and defender of human freedom, said:
Abstract reason, unassisted by passion, is no match for power and prejudice, armed with force and cunning. The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
The first sentence points with precision to the health care message failures of President Obama and Congressional Democrats. The second sentence is one of the most eloquent statements of progressive morality ever written. It's worth repeating: "The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves." The moral force of the former fuels the health care movement; the anti-reform effort is the latest refuge of the latter.
The ongoing struggle for democracy is the tale of the centuries-long conflict between these two antagonists. There are times when the hostilities appear to reach a mortal climax: Caesar crossing the Rubicon into Rome; the American Revolution; the bloody war over slavery. But I think the Love of Others and the Love of Power are immortals, at least in a human universe. The fight will never end.
The relative motivations of the health care combatants ought to offer evidence enough of the justness of reform. Those who seek universal care stand to gain better health for their neighbors and themselves. Opponents of reform seek to protect and grow the power of their vast economic empires. Who are you going to believe?
On the progressive side is the belief that we bear a deep responsibility for one another. We cannot call ourselves a civilized democracy if we secure our own health through the wholly unnecessary death of another. On the other side is Power, the entrenched insurance industry that's bribed its way to unmatched authority, that profits from death and misery, that has made a catastrophe of our physical and political well being. Read more.