First published in 1943 at a time when the United States was at war with Germany, Italy and Japan, Isabel Paterson’s God of the Machine clarified one of the greatest and most fatal of misunderstandings about the nature of government and governing. Contrary to prevailing belief and opinion, countered Paterson: “It is a mistake to say that ‘Government is Force.’ Force is what IS governed.”
In this regard, no more powerful words have ever been spoken. The great political choice facing mankind is, and always has been, whether that Force should be governed by the Left or by the Right – or by both. At the heart of this moral dilemma lies the answer to why Western society has been so radically drifting towards the Left.
In our continuing discussion about Left and Right, we have already clearly demonstrated that fascism in all its forms is a direct manifestation of the Left, and will continue to do so on over the course of today’s presentation. But beyond the continual misrepresentation that fascism sits on the ‘Right,’ there are still many other popular misinterpretations of the ‘political spectrum’ that require remedy.
One in particular is the notion that the Left – Right ‘spectrum’ represents a gradual transition from ‘Extreme Force’ on the Left, to ‘Degrees of Force’ in the ‘middle,’ and finally to ‘No Force’ on the Right. Unfortunately, this has become a popular viewpoint of many ‘libertarians’ and ‘Objectivists’ who knowingly or not are at odds with the fundamental nature of Objectivism.
Once again, this viewpoint has fallen into the trap of believing that an imaginary ‘center’ or ‘middle’ of a ‘spectrum’ exists, which is simply not the case. The error is amplified by juxtaposing the Left’s ‘Extreme Force’ against the Right’s ‘No Force.’
Both in theory and in practice, there is no such thing in politics as ‘degrees of force,’ no more than there are ‘degrees of death or pregnancy.’ One is either resorting to force or one is not. And it’s inescapable that when it comes to force itself, both the Left and Right represent ‘Extreme Force.’ Like it or not.
The question is not a matter of ‘degree.’ It’s a matter of whether that Force is being used to violate individual rights, or to defend/protect them. And you don’t need a ‘degree’ to understand the distinction.
The truth about ‘Force’ is that, in the defense of Life Liberty and Property, using it justly is always Just Right.