February 24, 2017
GOP Healthcare and the Social Contract
Republican harping on God and Freedom, representing Government as a fairly unabashed evil, would have us forget the fundamental analysis of the Social Contract theorists that undergirded our founding generation's political understanding.
The fault of perfect Liberty is that it is unenjoyable, incommensurate with Life and the pursuit of Happiness, in the State of Nature. God may endow these unalienable Rights, but it is men who must secure them by banding together, consenting to renounce perfect Liberty to institute Governments.
This understanding is inscribed right in the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Republicans would have us remember the first part and forget the dash-bound second part. The absolute Freedom for each to choose and tailor their own healthcare is incommensurate with Life and the pursuit Happiness for all. Such a heedless absolute Freedom is nothing to which all would consent as a legitimating end of government. Republican healthcare would cast us back toward the State of Nature, which Thomas Hobbes represented as a "war of every man against every man,' wherein human life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
(Comment on Paul Krugman, "Death and Tax Cuts" https://nyti.ms/2mfD97f)