The individual cannot be held accountable for shooting someone if there are guns for sale. Individuals have no role to play because they are not moral actors, only members of a mob responding to stimuli...
You wouldn't blame a dog for overeating; you blame the owners for overfeeding him. Nor do you blame a dog for biting a neighbor. You might punish him, but the punishment is training, not a recognition of authentic responsibility on the part of the canine. And the way that you think of a dog, is the way that the left thinks of you. When you misbehave, the left looks around for your owner.That's from John Rawls, right?
Individual behavior is a symptom of a social problem. Identify the social problem and you fix the behavior. The individual is nothing, the crowd is everything. Control the mass and you control the individual.Or maybe it's from James Q. "Broken Windows" Wilson. It's hard to tell; Greenfield seems to think any attempt to change circumstances to influence behavior is a form of mass hypnosis. (I wonder if a woman ever had him over to her apartment, turned down the lights and put on some soft music. That must have really freaked him out.)
Of course I'm being unfair. Though most of the article consists of enraged, outlandish metaphors -- "You train monkeys to fetch bananas for you. That is how the enlightened elites of the left see the workers whose taxes they harvest," "The Nazis believed that they were the master race because they were genetically superior. Liberals believe that they are the master race..." etc. -- Greenfield does have one real-life example to buttress his argument:
That is how the left approached this election. Instead of appealing to individual interests, they went after identity groups. They targeted low information voters and used behavioral science to find ways to manipulate people. The right treated voters like human beings. The left treated them like lab monkeys. And the lab monkey approach is triumphantly toted by progressives as proof that the left is more intelligent than the right. And what better proof of intelligence can there be than treating half the country like buttons of unthinking responses that you can push to get them to do what you want.Greenfield's argument is perfect in its way. Have anti-pollution laws made our air and water less foul? Proof of liberal contempt for the individualism of the polluter! Do blacks rise to heretofore unrealized positions of respect and even prominence in society? Liberal mind control techniques at work!
So if the kind of gun control people are calling for now (and which, by the way, is Greenfield's ostensible theme) were actually tried and shown to reduce gun violence in this country, that would make it even more of an outrage.
This is the sort of conservatism I look forward to seeing more of: One where they gibber and spit over our successes.
UPDATE. In another post, Greenfield asks:
And yet would Thomas Jefferson, the abiding figurehead of the Democratic Party, who famously wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants", really have shuddered at the idea of peasants with assault rifles, or would he have grinned at the playing field being leveled some more?I think he would have swum to England to tell King George he'd made a terrible mistake.