THERE MIGHT BE a corollary to Godwin’s Law to the effect that, when you start alluding to Star Trek, you have lost not only the argument, but also your mind. But this brain fart occurred to me earlier today and I want to try it out on you.
In a discussion of Data’s putative humanity — and, by extension, that of all artificial life-forms…
Such as moi…
…such as you, Dolly, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) listens to a disquisition by Enterprise bartender and resident philosophe, Guinan (played by Whoopi Goldberg) describing a common condition in myriad civilizations, which she calls the existence and tolerance of the exploitation of disposable people. And, in a penny-dropping moment revelatory of the depth of mind of the writers of the show, (who are, after all, and as they so frequently did, using Picard as a Stapeldon) Picard says — all shocked and epiphanous-like:
PICARD: You’re talking about slavery.
GUINAN: I think that’s a little harsh.
PICARD: I don’t think that’s a little harsh. I think that’s the truth. But it’s a truth that we have obscured behind a comfortable, easy euphemism: property. But that’s not the issue at all, is it?
And what if, instead of “property” in Picard’s little speech, we insert, “the right to the fruits of another’s labor”? Can you see the parallel? There was a very good reason why the Framers limited the scope of the Federal government to “the common good.” There is also a reason, unfortunately, why years later, we had to add the 14th Amendment, to countersink the notion that the law has to apply to everyone equally. And, yet, now again, we have a “progressive” income tax, which flies in the face of the notion of equal treatment under the law. We have specific individuals and groups who have their property and bank accounts plundered to serve other, specific individuals and groups — again, flouting the requirement that every American have the same standing before the law.
And what else would you call it but slavery? And, now, the Congress and the President have colluded to enslave all Americans to some chimerical notion of “universal health care,” again, flouting the equality the law requires.
And the progressives want to argue that Tea Party beliefs shouldn’t play in America?