Ed. Note: This is Kurt's new BONUS Wednesday column available only to VIP members.
Okay, did you know you have a right to have other people pony up to bury your loved ones’ nasty carcasses? Really. You apparently do. I didn’t know that either, but some dude running for Congress in Washington named Joshua Collins (his bio helpfully explains that his pronouns are “he/his”) announced it on Twitter the other day via a weird little pictogram of a bunny holding up a sign that says “FUNERALS SHOULDN’T COST ANY MONEY.” This insight got over 21,000 “likes.” So, apparently funeral privilege is a thing.
As someone on social media pointed out – which infuriated me, because it wasn’t me – this is truly cradle to grave socialism.
I have a question. Actually, several. Like, “What’s with the bunny?” I mean, you decide that everyone else is responsible for paying to consign your relatives to their forever dirt nap and you choose to illustrate your revelation with a cuddly rabbit? I think that’s just weird.
But what’s weirder is the idea that if it’s not important enough to you to fund the funeral of your deceased family member, it necessarily becomes important enough for me to do it. It’s not. I don’t care about your family member, except in the most generic sense. I’d prefer he not rot in the gutter, but then I’d also prefer that you take care of your own relatives’ mortal coils like a responsible adult. I have other things to spend my money on besides things you want, like things I want.
This is a continuing theme with socialism – the idea that the socialist wants certain things, but not enough to work to earn the money to purchase them himself, and this decision to embrace Lebowski-like laziness somehow makes it a morally imperative that people like you and me do the earning to fund his unfunded desires.
And it is always you and me who do the earning, because we are the suckers who actually work for a living. Nothing is free. Everything costs something. It costs money, or time, or resources. But everything you wish to acquire has a cost. Just because you make some other poor sap pay it does not change that unalterable truth.
Again, why is it on me to do the work necessary to give you what you want if it’s not worth it to you to earn it yourself? It’s like NATO – the Germans and most of the other euroweenies really like the idea of defending against Russia, just not enough to send Horst or Fritz to do it or to pay for it with their own money.
No, it is not “selfishness” to not want to subsidize the lifestyles of indolent hipsters, or the death styles of those they care about. Now, as a matter of public health and hygiene, if someone gacks without a family, I think it’s fine to stick this poor soul in a pine box and provide a dignified internment in the local Potter’s Field. But if he has a family, I expect them to do what they have to do to give their ex-relative a proper send-off. I don’t expect to be obligated to fork over my hard-earned ducats to do it by the government.
Now, I may choose to help. Charity is important, especially when you are a conservative who generally holds people to a high level of personal responsibility. Helping others in real need is important, and mandated by Jesus, and Ayn Rand was totally wrong about it. When someone needs help (not just wants free stuff), we should step up voluntarily. Not through enforced redistribution but through choice. For example, in light of Chick-Fil-A’s shameful cowardice, we should all strongly support Hugh Hewitt’s Salvation Army Christmas season drive (I have).
But socialism is different from charity. Charity involves the self-directed provision of help to the truly needy. Socialism is the accumulation of power by socialists via the stealing of resources from people the socialists don’t like in order to rule by redistributing those resources. Charitable people are trying to use their own money to help others. Socialists steal money then accumulate power by being the ones who choose how to redistribute the stolen loot.
Joshua the Bunny Meme Guy does not want to help people plant the deceased. He wants the power that comes with deciding who gets your money. He’ll dress it up in all sorts of altruism and good intentions, but here’s the thing about socialists: they never, ever want you to choose where your stolen money goes. They always want to choose. They want the power over resources. No socialist ever forgoes the chance to exercise power, and why would one? The whole point of socialism is exercising power.
Look, I expect to die someday. Probably not soon enough to satisfy my fans on social media, but someday I will shuffle off to join the choir invisible like a Norwegian Blue parrot. And I am pretty much indifferent to what happens to me thereafter (I’ve already directed that my body may be picked apart for useful parts). I only have a few firm guidelines for my send off. I want all my military friends to be in uniform because I want to annoy them one last time. I want to crank some cool tunes by Joy Division and the Replacements because I want to annoy the attendees one last time (Okay, they can play “Amazing Grace”). I want a real minister, not some hack who won’t talk about Jesus because it might annoy people. And beyond the headstone and flag Uncle Sam owes me for 27 years of Army time, I want to pay for the whole damn thing myself, like a man.
After all, better dead than dead and deadbeat.
Socialism’s ruin is the background of my new novel Collapse, the action-packed yet hilarious sequel to People's Republic, Indian Country and Wildfire. It’s set in California and it takes all the themes and trends we see today out to their illogical conclusion. Check out all the books – Bill Kristol (Ahoy! He shows up in a cameo!) calls them “appalling!”
You can reach me directly at my super secret email address: Kurt.Schlichter@townhall.com!