The quote is often used to inflict blunt force trauma upon those of us who disagree with the leftist, nanny-state approach to government: If you oppose higher taxes then, ipso facto, you support the destruction of civilization, and that we cannot allow.
Well, let’s see how many citizens put their money where their mouth is, and voluntarily buy more “civilization.” My guess is that almost nobody will do this, because — in truth — what they really want is for other people to pay for the civilization they enjoy. We see this philosophy in action all the time, in different ways:
- John Kerry builds a $7 million yacht and docks it out of state to avoid the tax.
- Ted Kennedy (may he rest in peace) opposed a wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard because it would have spoiled his view, even though it would also “meet 75% of the region’s electricity needs and reduce carbon emissions by some 734,000 tons every year.”
- Closer to home, California’s state employee unions are allowed by law to forcibly collect “fair share fees” — roughly 97% of actual union dues — from employees who do NOT support the union’s goals.
Holmes was a smart guy — surely smarter than me — so I figured I’d cherry-pick a few other quotes from the venerable jurist.
Quote: “Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force.”
Translation: “If you don’t want to pay taxes to fund MY vision of civilization, then, by crikey, it’s WAR!”
Quote: “Beware how you take away hope from another human being.”
Translation: “Taxes = redistribution = hope. If you dare to take hope away from your fellow citizens, be prepared for riots.”
Quote: “Fresh air is good if you do not take too much of it; most of the achievements and pleasures of life are in bad air.”
Translation: “Yeah, I know I said I like to pay taxes, but I didn’t mean it like THAT. Real progress occurs when civilization is denied its pound of flesh and is forced to rely on human ingenuity. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.”
And finally, just to preempt the charge of “lying racist teabagging destroyer of civilization” from my left-leaning brethren, I offer this final observation from that dead white European male, Mr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, whom you love so well to quote so often:
Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.
I fully expect, however, that our “inconsistent kinds of worlds” will continue until one utterly crushes the other. May the best world win, in spite of the odds.
Update: Bugs Bunny as the conservative who simply wants to get on with his life, the bull as the liberal who resorts to violence to get his way.