Dan Popp
Real thought crime
By Dan Popp
October 17, 2015

    To preach hatred of the rich man as such, to carry on a campaign of slander and invective against him, to seek to mislead and inflame to madness honest men whose lives are hard and who have not the kind of mental training which will permit them to appreciate the danger in the doctrines preached – all this is to commit a crime against the body politic and to be false to every worthy principle and tradition of American national life. – Theodore Roosevelt, State of the Union Address, 1906
We conservatives are known to have a good guffaw over the barbarians' conception of "thought crime." We will control even what you think and feel, they seem to believe. If you murder an innocent person, ah, well, it was probably society's fault. No worries. But if you harm somebody because you have unkind thoughts about his group, well, we have zero tolerance for that kind of intolerance, bub.

And of course, thought crime in those terms is ridiculous. It's a stick used to beat down ideas that the weak-minded statist doesn't approve and can't disprove.

But should some thoughts be crimes? Someone said to me after the Communist debate the other night, "They're entitled to their opinion." Trite, but true? Is someone entitled to his opinion if his opinion is that he's entitled to my stuff? I say he is not.

The concept of redistribution is certainly evil. That becomes clear when we call it by its correct name, "covetousness." Since there is no right to do wrong, I have no right to rob you – nor do I have a right to fantasize about robbing you. Pretending that I'm planning to rob you for a "good cause" is just piling stupidity on top of wickedness. The highest good that can be achieved by government is a just society. Attacking the concept of rightful ownership kills any hope of that good.

We know it's a sin to think like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. It is a moral offense to covet other people's stuff – even if those other people seem to have a whooooooole lot of stuff. "You shall not covet" may be the last of the Commandments, but it's not unimportant if we want to live in harmony with each other. In the well-worn Bible phrase, "The love of money is the root of all evil," the part stands for the whole. All of envy and coveting are condemned in that sentence because it is our lust for things-not-our-own that sets all the other sins in motion.

Yes, Bernie and Hillary are guilty of thought sin. But thought crime? That's a little more difficult to prove. We'd have to work out how we would detect it, and how we would punish it. Detection is actually easy in this case – they don't even try to hide their twisted intentions to relieve lawful owners of their goods. They expect applause for their unrighteousness. But what about punishment? Well, how about permanent disqualification from holding public office, for starters? Then we would simply do unto them as they would have done unto us, and confiscate every single possession they think they have.

Hillary's words should be thrown back in her face: "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." She really said that. Look it up.

People railing against the "one percent" are not compassionate visionaries who happen to hold an eccentric, but honest opinion. They are adversaries of orderly human society. They are destroyers of prosperity, and even of progress. They are enemies of mankind. They should be forced off the public stage in disgrace and destitution.

After all, that's what they plan for us.

© Dan Popp


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