Human Nature Bleg — A Kinda Sorta Comment Rescue
Over in my Dueling Libertarians post, commenter Citizen said something that struck me as being possibly important:
Socialism creep will soon erode Libertarianism as it has done to every other -ism.
I have been thinking about this comment ever since I first read it. Specifically, I have been comparing it the commonly held belief (which, FTR, I do subscribe to) about Communism — that no matter how well it works on paper, because of human nature Communism will eventually become a scary thing. Or more specifically, that if you give a small group of people absolute power over others, it’s folly to think that after a few years they will happily step down and be everyone’s equal.
Now, however, I wonder if what Citizen has noticed isn’t equally true (for a particularly broad and right-wing definition of “socialism”) and if this too is not a factor of the more benevolent side of human nature.
Because it does seem to me that in any kind of democratic society, over time the whole does move toward taking care of those that need care. Not everyone and not all at once of course, but I’ll be damned if I can think of a democratic or even quasi-democratic state that hasn’t moved toward different safety nets over time. The explanation for this on the Right is that this is ‘takers gonna take,’ but this is clearly not the case. Everywhere I have ever lived, at every level of governing, people who have been well off have voted to subside others — whether that be parents with kids in private schools voting for school levies, people with high-paying jobs demanding that the hungry are fed, or people who live in places where mother nature is calm insisting that those devastated by natural disasters be made whole.
So now I’m wondering, is this the other, communal side of human nature showing through? Is any democratic state or political movement eventually pushed by an invisible hand toward caring for others even as it is simultaneously pushed by that other, more well known invisible hand?
What say you, hive mind?