The Welfare State

from Ayn Rand : The Preview

It is true that the welfare-statists are not socialists, 
that they never advocated or intended 
the socialization of private property, 
that they want to “preserve” private property
with government control of its use and disposal. 

But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.
Since the things needed for survival have to be produced, and nature does not guarantee the success of any human endeavor, there is not and cannot be any such thing as a guaranteed economic security. 
 The employer who gives you a job, has no guarantee that 
  • the business will remain in existence, 
  • that his customers will continue to buy his products or services. 
The customers have no guarantee 
  • that they will always be able and willing to trade, 
  • of what their needs, choices and incomes will be in the future. 
If you retire to a self-sustaining farm, you have no guarantee 
  • to protect you from what a flood or a hurricane might do to your land and your crops. 
If you surrender everything to the government and give it total power to plan the whole economy, this will not guarantee your economic security, but it will guarantee the descent of the entire nation to a level of miserable poverty as the practical results of every totalitarian economy, communist or fascist, have demonstrated.
Morally, the promise of an impossible “right” to economic security 
is an infamous attempt to abrogate the concept of rights. 

It can and does mean only one thing: 
a promise to enslave the men who produce, 
for the benefit of those who don’t. 

“If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, 
it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.” 

There can be no such thing as the right to enslave, 
i.e., the right to destroy rights.
Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull. 
Morally, the chance to satisfy demands by force 
spreads the demands wider and wider, with less and less pretense at justification. 
Economically, the forced demands of one group 
create hardships for all others, thus producing an inextricable mixture of actual victims and plain parasites. 
Since need, not achievement, is held as the criterion of rewards,
the government necessarily keeps sacrificing the more productive groups to the less productive, gradually chaining the top level of the economy, then the next level, then the next. 
How else are unachieved rewards to be provided?

There are two kinds of need involved in this process: 
the need of the group making demands, 
which is openly proclaimed 
and serves as cover for another need, which is never mentioned
the need of the power-seekers, 
who require a group of dependent favor-recipients in order to rise to power. 

Altruism feeds the first need, 
statism feeds the second, 
Pragmatism blinds everyone
including victims and profiteers
not merely to the deadly nature of the process
but even to the fact that a process is going on.